Thursday, May 04, 2006

Holy smokes

Kenneth Starr, special prosecutor in the Clinton Whitewater case, has agreed to represent an Alaskan school board that suspended a student for displaying a banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" across the street from his school.
Joseph Frederick was 18 and a high school senior in 2002, when he unfurled his banner during the Winter Olympic torch relay through Juneau, hoping to grab the attention of television cameras.

School district officials said his banner violated the school's anti-drug policies and suspended him despite the fact that he was off campus at the time and did not disrupt school functions.

Frederick sued the school district but lost in federal court when a judge ruled that school officials had wider discretion to control his actions and were entitled to regulate speech that encouraged drug use.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco disagreed, saying school officials violated Frederick's free speech rights.
Now it's up to the Supreme Court to decide whether to hear the school district's appeal. Frederick's lawyer says it's unlikely they will and that his victory will stand.

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