It looks like free speech may win out after all. Just brilliant how such a ridiculous example went all the way to SCotUS and will now, in a sense, become a banner case (sorry, had to) for free speech.
From the Reuters article:
In its first major student free-speech rights case in almost 20 years, U.S. Supreme Court justices struggled on Monday with how far schools can go in censoring students.
In a case involving a Juneau, Alaska, high school student suspended for unfurling a banner that read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus,” several justices seemed wary about giving a principal too much authority at the expense of the student’s right to express his views.
“It’s political speech, it seems to me. I don’t see what it disrupts,” a skeptical Justice David Souter said.
“And no one was smoking pot in that crowd,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, referring to the group of students standing near the banner as the Winter Olympic torch relay passed by in January 2002.
Pick it up now. I’m still in review mode on this, but, it has me flashing back to Pitchfork’s 2000 laying down the gauntlet with the death-wish branding 9.8 rating (on the heel’s of Kid A‘s death-defying 10.0) on Moon and Antarctica back in 2000.
Though I wasn’t at South by Southwest, I can now tell you that this keynote speech was rather extraordinary. Among other things, Dan Rather suggested (as posted earlier) that perhaps journalism has â€œin some ways lost its gutsâ€ in recent years and is in need of â€œa spine transplant.â€ Alot of emotion poured into this keynote (with questions from firedoglake‘s Jane Hamsher) and quite worth listening to the entire hour. There’s more audio from this year’s SXSWi sessions here.