Bong hits 4 shakedown?

Dana Milbank (WaPo) on yesterday’s Bong Hits 4 Jesus Supreme Court oral argument (h/t LL):

“…Mertz, arguing for the student, fared even worse than Starr and Kneedler. He got out only one sentence — “This is a case about free speech; it is not a case about drugs” — before Roberts interrupted.

“It’s a case about money,” the chief justice said.

“Would you waive damages against this principal, who has devoted her life to this school?” asked Kennedy. “You’re seeking damages from her for this sophomoric sign that was held up.”


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

  • The only overlawyered part of the case seems to be when the school district sought to punish a student for legal acts committed at a time and place when he was not under the control of the school.

    When does a student get to not be a student? Does the district have my kid 24/7 from age 5 through 18 or is my child a private citizen at some point throughout that time?

    The district might have a reasonable claim that the minor’s acts were disruptive to the community interest of education if his sign implied the principal took bong hits. But this kid’s sophomoric prank should be protected by free speach and free religion (church of jesus christ and the latter day bong).

  • I see the moron moment when the school sought to punish the kid.

    I see the typical US moment when a lawsuit is used to take care of this because neither side was willing to use common sense.

    I see the overlawyered part in the damages pursued…

    Points to the judge for actually calling the plaintiff on it.

  • […] “The Juneau-Douglas (Alaska) School District and former student Joseph Frederick have reached a settlement in the ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’ case …. The school district will pay Frederick $45,000, [and] it is ‘required to hire a neutral constitutional law expert to chair a forum on student speech’ at its high school at a cost of up to $5,000.” (DRJ @ Patterico, Nov. 6; earlier). […]