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Legalize "Bong Hits 4 Jesus"

Chris Weigant: What does the Supreme Court ruling in the "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" case mean for the future of free speech?
 
 
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This post, written by Chris Weigant, originally appeared on The Huffington Post

In reading today's Supreme Court's decision on Morse v. Frederick , the case of the student in Juneau, Alaska, who unfurled a banner reading "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" and was subsequently suspended (you can read the story here or at the Washington Post to get the details of the case), one conclusion is crystal-clear: Kids, if you're going to unfurl such a banner in an effort to get on national television, make sure that you state your case as: 'LEGALIZE BONG HiTS 4 JESUS'." Because then the First Amendment will protect you.

One other striking conclusion is that Joseph Frederick should have told his attorneys to explore the religious nature of his banner as well. In the 29 pages of text in the Supreme Court's decision, the word "Jesus" only appears whenever the justices are quoting the sign's text. Not once is the sign's message actually taken at face value. I have argued this legal reasoning before, that he should have also explored a "freedom of religion" First Amendment issue as well, but because his lawyers (and his own statements) never actually brought the subject up, the Supreme Court was free to ignore such reasoning.

This is not to say that the first part of the message wasn't parsed in great detail by the court. From the majority opinion:

Chris Weigant has been a regular contributor to Arianna Huffington’s The Huffington Post since June of 2006, and also writes on his own website, ChrisWeigant.com.

 
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