US Supreme Court to take up ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’ case

Two quick questions… (1) Is this really important enough to make the SCOTUS docket? (2) How ironic is it that a kid taking his civil rights case to SCOTUS now lives in a communist country? 

US Supreme Court to take up ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’ case

The Supreme Court examines Monday a case raising questions over free speech rights in US high schools as it hears arguments over a student’s unfurling of a quirky banner proclaiming “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” Joseph Frederick drew the ire of his school principal in Juneau, Alaska, on January 24, 2002, when the then 18-year-old student unveiled the huge banner in front of television cameras as the Olympic flame passed in front of a crowd.

Principal Deborah Morse, whose school had authorized the students to leave class for the event, was not amused by Frederick’s linkage between Jesus and a bong, a pipe used to smoke marijuana.

Morse crossed the street, destroyed the banner and suspended Frederick from school for 10 days.

Frederick, now 23, said he had conducted “a free speech experiment.”

The banner is “absurdly funny. It doesn’t make any sense at all,” he said in a telephone news conference from China where he studies and teaches.

On Monday, his experiment goes before the US Supreme Court, which will hear debate over a student’s right to free speech versus the school’s power to impose order.

The case has drawn heavy hitters, including the powerful American Civil Liberties Union, which backed Frederick from the beginning.

Morse is represented by Kenneth Starr, the former special prosecutor who led the investigation of Bill Clinton and his relationship with a White House intern, which almost cost the then US president his job.

The US government will also side with the school.

Frederick took his case to federal court, arguing that his free speech right, protected under the First Amendment, had been violated and demanding damages from Morse.

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1 Comment

  1. Maybe the kid should claim he left off part of the sign. It should have said, “Bong Hits 4, Jesus 9.”


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