Supreme Court Rules 8-1 for Cheerleader in Mahonoy Case In Major Victory for Free Speech

For those seeking to portray the Supreme Court as, to use President Joe Biden’s words, “out of whack,” the Court itself continued to disappoint critics this week with another major and nearly unanimous decision in the long-awaited decision in Mahonoy v. B.L. While many of us in the free speech community hoped for a bright-line decision protecting student speech, the decision sharply rebuts the sweeping claims of schools (from high schools to universities) of authority to monitor and punish off-campus speech.  What is striking about the language is that the Court secures near unanimous decision by limiting the reach of the decision.

Free speech victories often come on behalf of a motley crew of litigants from animal sacrificers to Neo-Nazis to, this week, foul-mouthed high school cheerleaders.

The fact is that popular speech rarely needs protection. In the case of Brandi Levy, the cheerleader in Mahonoy v. B.L, she was denied the right to swear a blue streak after being rejected for the varsity squad at Mahanoy Area High School in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania.

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday 8-1 in her favor and, while she remains silent Levy most likely had a fittingly spicy way of acknowledging her major win for free speech. Notably, while Levy was suspended from the team, there will likely be no repercussions for the school administrators who violated her free speech rights and litigated this ill-conceived case all the way to the Supreme Court. There are rarely any costs to school officials who deny free speech to students, even after countervailing decisions.

In some respects, science was as much on the former high school student’s side as the law. Studies have shown that swearing is not only a sign of intelligence but helps alleviate pain.  If so, Levy healed herself with a profane response after being told that she would not make the varsity cheerleading squad. She and a friend vented at the Cocoa Hut, a local convenience store on Snapchat with a photo showing them with middle fingers raised with the caption: “F**k school f**k softball f**k cheer f**k everything.” Despite her later apology, the school suspended her from cheerleading for a year

From high schools to universities, educators have been claiming expanding authority to monitor and punish students for statements made out-of-school or on social media.

Last month, the University of Oregon became the latest school criticized for rules regulating speech of students made off-campus.

The Court says that her comments were protected. In his majority opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer noted that it “might be tempting to dismiss B.L.’s words as unworthy of the robust First Amendment protections discussed herein. But sometimes it is necessary to protect the superfluous in order to preserve the necessary.”  Breyer flips the narrative of schools on having a need to protect students from disturbing or disruptive speech:

The school itself has an interest in protecting a student’s unpopular expression, especially when the expression takes place off campus. America’s public schools are the nurseries of democracy. Our representative democracy only works if we protect the “marketplace of ideas.” This free exchange facilitates an informed public opinion, which, when transmitted to lawmakers, helps produce laws that reflect the People’s will. That protection must include the protection of unpopular ideas, for popular ideas have less need for protection. Thus, schools have a strong interest in ensuring that future generations understand the workings in practice of the well-known aphorism, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” (Although this quote is often attributed to Voltaire, it was likely coined by an English writer, Evelyn Beatrice Hall.)

However, the Court leaves much on the field in terms of future cases — a move that may have put the interest in achieving near unanimity above achieving clarity.

Given the many different kinds of off-campus speech, the different potential school-related and circumstance-specific justifications, and the differing extent to which those justifications may call for First Amendment leeway, we can, as a general matter, say little more than this: Taken together, these three features of much off-campus speech mean that the leeway the First Amendment grants to schools in light of their special characteristics is diminished. We leave for future cases to decide where, when, and how these features mean the speaker’s off-campus location will make the critical difference. This case can, however, provide one example.

One of the notable aspects of the case is the vote of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. When she was nominated, I was most concerned about her views on free speech given her vote on the Second Circuit to uphold punishment of a student for out-of-school comments in Doninger v. Niehoff.

This was my second ranked case in importance of the final pending cases with Fulton being the highest ranked this month. The question is whether the three liberal justices voting with their colleagues will now necessitate a call for adding seven rather than just four new justices to guarantee a liberal majority. The problem with packing courts is that they tend never to be packed enough.

Here is the decision: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/20-255_g3bi.pdf

 

A shorter version of this column appeared on Fox.com

92 thoughts on “Supreme Court Rules 8-1 for Cheerleader in Mahonoy Case In Major Victory for Free Speech”

  1. Whether it was Voltaire or Evelyn Beatrice Hall who coined the aphorism, it was Albert Alligator who said it best:
    “I may not understand what you say, but I’ll defend to your death my right to deny it.”
    — Walt Kelly, Pogo, 26 September 1951

  2. Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! The freedom to be a obnoxious teen is made sacrosanct yet again! Our liberal friends on the blog should be ecstatic! Somersaults even!

  3. The Court Decision Turley Hasn’t Reported

    A federal appeals court decided Monday to put on hold a judge’s decision to overturn California’s 30-year-old ban on assault weapons, but the legal fight could continue for months and may be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    In a brief order, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of Judge Roger T. Benitez’s June 4 decision, in which he likened an AR-15 semiautomatic to a Swiss Army knife and called it “good for both home and battle.”

    Benitez’s decision overturning the California ban gave the state 30 days to challenge the decision. The 9th Circuit, acting on a June 10 appeal filed by Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, put Benitez’s ruling on hold pending decisions in other gun cases that are now before the court.

    “This leaves our assault weapons laws in effect while appellate proceedings continue,” Bonta said in a tweet. “We won’t stop defending these life-saving laws.”

    The 9th Circuit judges on the panel issuing the stay were Barry G. Silverman, an appointee of President Clinton; Jacqueline Nguyen, an Obama appointee; and Ryan D. Nelson, a Trump appointee.

    The order said the stay would be in effect until the 9th Circuit ruled in another case challenging California’s assault weapons regulations. That case also has been put on hold pending a ruling in a lawsuit over California’s ban on large-capacity magazines.
    An 11-judge 9th Circuit “en banc” panel is scheduled to hear arguments in that case Tuesday, and the ruling is likely to determine the future of the state’s assault weapons ban. A majority of the judges on the panel are Democratic appointees.

    Edited From: “U.S. Appeals Court Blocks Judge’s Decision To Overturn State’s Assault Weapons Ban”

    The Los Angeles Times, 6/21/21

    1. Anti-American, communist Appeals Court nullifies Constitution.

      Exactly how much will actual Americans take?

  4. This article testifies that the provision of free speech applies equally to the dumbest of all of us. Dumb is not a good reason to keep a person off of a cheer squad. If this was a criteria we couldn’t have any cheer squads. My apologies to the smart people on cheer squads. I’m sure that the level of intelligence of those who cheer increases with age.

  5. So sleepy Joe says the court is out of wack. He better call those four Judges who were appointed by Democratic Presidents over to the White House to ask them why they’re so wacky. Someone is seriously wacky and it ain’t the Supreme Court. It calls to mind a famous cartoon duck named Daffy. Wohoo! wohoo!

  6. @svelaz

    I will take you a little more seriously if you support my right to refer to biological males who choose to mutilate their bodies, consume female hormones and wear dresses as being male without being fired from my job or lose a bank account.

    Won’t hold my breath though. Leftists only support free speech if it supports their ideas.

    antonio

    1. Antonio, I do fully support your right to do that. You can call them whatever you want. It’s precisely your prerogative.

      But that means you recognize the consequences that come with it, such as criticism. I would expect the same for me if I chose to exercise my right to free speech.

      1. Svelaz, the problem is that if you don’t call them by the proper pronoun yo can lose your job or even go to jail. So much for the free speech advocates on the left. The principle of free speech assumes the prohibition of coerced speech. You will speak exactly as we tell you to speak or there will be consequences. Do you completely understand me comrade?

        1. TiT, “ Svelaz, the problem is that if you don’t call them by the proper pronoun yo can lose your job or even go to jail.”

          Can you name an instance where someone went to jail for not using the proper pronoun? Or what law says you go to jail for it?

          Here’s what I see. Most people would be offended if suddenly they were being addressed by opposite pronoun of your gender regardless of whether you’re transgender or not. There is literally no law that says you MUST address someone by their correct pronoun. I could just decide to call you ma’am, or use she, her, etc in addressing you because I can. You wouldn’t appreciate it and at some point it would amount to harassment. Obviously you wouldn’t stand for that. But that wouldn’t matter because I can still call you ma’am. You then decide to take it to HR and demand I stop. But I don’t. Should I be fired because I don’t to call you by the proper pronoun? Or should I be allowed to choose what to call you because I believe I can call you whatever think you are?

          1. Svelaz, there are now 18 pronouns that are to be remembered and used properly. Glad to let you know that I will not be taking part in your little power game. As to harassment, aren’t you harassing me when you try to force me to use certain words you have chosen that I should speak. Your really just a power player. It is our obligation to make sure that your corrosive power is kept to a minimum.

            1. TIT,

              “ As to harassment, aren’t you harassing me when you try to force me to use certain words you have chosen that I should speak.”

              No, because you’re choosing to use the pronoun that is causing someone else harm by way of disrespect. The continued disrespect and willingly ignoring someone else’s requests IS harassment. Most companies have policies against being disrespectful to others, especially when it’s intentional. It creates an environment that is disruptive to a company and therefore have the right to fire you because you’re causing the problem. It’s the same if you were calling a black coworker “boy” all the time when addressing him because you believe you can. Nothing stops you from doing it, it’s not illegal, BUT the company has an interest in keeping an environment where all workers can focus on their job instead of worrying about the a-hole denigrating others because they feel like it.

              1. So, if I demand everyone in the company as “My Lord”, which is my new chosen name, and other people don’t do it, then I can legitimately file an HR complaint accusing others of disrespecting my chosen name? The same can go for chosen pronouns or gender references.
                I think any issue ** not directly related to the job function ** I have with other people I work with, is a personal matter between us, not a matter for the company to insert itself between us.

    2. Trans/neo-females, and, with social progress, trans/neo-males, too. Trans/homosexuals excluded, mostly stable. That said, once you subscribe to the Progressives’ Pro-Choice nominally “secular” religion, the oldest religion, denying a man and woman’s sex, dignity, and agency, and their masculine and feminine gender, respectively, as well as lives deemed unworthy of life (or profitable in parts), becomes a religious (“ethical”) imperative and the liberal inquisition will force people to take a knee.

  7. I find it humorous that Turley tried to segue his analysis into a reason not to pack the courts. Turley’s concerns contradict his own agreement that the court should be expanded.

    It seems he doesn’t want that when democrats are in power. Republicans already exercised court packing by doing it with the lower courts.

    Turley’s support of free speech has been his most well known advocacy. I’m surprised he hasn’t brought up Florida governor DeSantis signing into law the banning of critical race theory or his latest, forcing students to fill a survey explaining their political views in order to force prevent schools from “indoctrination”.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/florida-gov-ron-desantis-signs-a-law-punishing-student-indoctrination-at-public-universities-and-threatens-budget-cuts/ar-AALmiId

    Isn’t that compelled speech? What about banning the teaching of CRT? Doesn’t that run contrary to the 1st amendment’s protection of unpopular ideas?

    1. “Isn’t that compelled speech?”

      No. It’s a voluntary anonymous survey to make sure that all sides feel comfortable expressing their political beliefs and that a university can be held accountable for indoctrinating students.

      “What about banning the teaching of CRT? Doesn’t that run contrary to the 1st amendment’s protection of unpopular ideas?”

      No. Paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence talks of equality not equity and talks about the individual, not the group.

      CRT is contrary to the founding of this nation and its Constitutional Republic. CRT can be taught just like Marxism can be taught, but indoctrination is another thing.

      1. SM,

        “ No. It’s a voluntary anonymous survey to make sure that all sides feel comfortable expressing their political beliefs and that a university can be held accountable for indoctrinating students.”

        It’s not voluntary. The law makes no mention of it being voluntary.

        “ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed legislation on Tuesday that will require the state’s public colleges and universities to survey students, professors, and staff about their political views in an effort to crack down on intellectual “indoctrination” on campus.”

        It’s not a voluntary survey SM. The schools will be required by law to survey students, professors, and staff about their political views. Nowhere does it say it’s voluntary. If it was it would be pointless.

        “ The law, which is effective July 1, demands Florida’s students “be shown diverse ideas and opinions, including those that they may disagree with or find uncomfortable.”

        Like…CRT, right? But ironically the governor is actively trying to ban CRT from being taught in schools. So because it is uncomfortable for some it’s ok to ban it? The stench of hypocrisy is strong in Florida.

        1. There is a big difference between conducting a survey, and braying/indoctrinating Critical Racists’ Theory (e.g. Jew privilege, and its neo-progression as White privilege) that presumes to spread diversity [dogma] (e.g. racism, sexism, ageism), inequity, and exclusion.

        2. Svalez you are an idiot. The individual need not respond to the survey and if he does he is anonymous. It is not a mandatory survey. The schools have to offer it and any response is voluntary. The reason behind it is that too many universities have been indoctrinating students rather than educating them. Tax dollars are not supposed to go to universities that are indoctrinating students.

          CRT should not be taught in school. It is against the basic principles of our nation.

          Equity is not equality
          Group is not individual

          If we were a Marxist society equity would count and groups would define the individual.

          SM

      2. Yes, despite the handmade tales, the conservative philosophy embodied in the Founders’ documents never exercised liberal license to indulge diversity [dogma] that denies individual dignity, individual conscience; nor entertain the bigotry of adherents to Critical Racists’ Theory past, present, and progressive; and certainly not establish the Pro-Choice religion under the Twilight Amendment that denies a woman and man’s dignity and agency, lives deemed unworthy of life, and other purposes including their social progressions where once they brayed Jew privilege, the neo-Leftist now brays White privilege. One step forward, two steps backward. Hilarious.

      3. SM,

        “ No. Paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence talks of equality not equity and talks about the individual, not the group.”

        That’s the Declaration of Independence and its talking about a group. “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” SM, it mentions ’men’ plural. That means a group, not an individual. That’s not the law of the land. The constitution is. The 1st amendment prohibits government from curtailing free speech. That includes unpopular ideas.

        So banning the teaching of CRT because it’s an unpopular idea with conservatives would be a 1st amendment violation.

        1. Svelaz, logic doesn’t seem to exist in your head.

          All men means, all men, no matter how we group them, are equal whether or not they can be categorized as groups I am now questioning whether you even had a high school education. Yes, I heard you one time indicate that you went to college but that is very hard to believe even if you have a diploma.

          SM

          1. SM,

            “ All men means, all men, no matter how we group them, are equal whether or not they can be categorized as groups”

            Your words, “ No. Paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence talks of equality not equity and talks about the individual, not the group.”

            “…and talks about the individual, not the group.”

            So is it a group or individual that the Declaration of Independence is talking about? Obviously you’re not playing with a full deck SM. Your incoherent arguments are just that…incoherent.

            1. “So is it a group or individual that the Declaration of Independence is talking about? “

              Svelaz, you have just proven your ignorance.

              SM

        2. Ever hear of the topic of Comparative Religion?
          Those are secular courses that teaches about what the various religion are about, their perspectives, goals and precepts.
          Nothing wrong with that.

          But that contrasts significantly with teaching Christianity, Islam or Judaism as a truth unto itself, and promoting the actual religion as a fundamental expression of reality in its precepts.

          So, by analogy, there is nothing wrong with teaching ABOUT critical race theory, and its premises and goals, but there is something wrong teaching as a fundamental truth, and to be accepted that way, in it in mandatory attendance taxpayer funded schools.

          Free speech guarantees are not license for mandating the ‘teaching’/indoctrinating a given social philosophy or religion as true, when there are reasonable/rational cause to question it, an indeed many outright reject it or find it offensive.
          Leave such moral, social and religious ‘teachings’ to the parents and family, the state has no place in proselytizing such matters.

          1. Very good post Gary!

            So, by analogy, there is nothing wrong with teaching ABOUT critical race theory, and its premises and goals, but there is something wrong teaching as a fundamental truth, and to be accepted that way, in it in mandatory attendance taxpayer funded schools.

            It’s interesting that General Milley, who was testifying before Congress, defended assigning the reading of CRT within all branches of the military as if all they were doing was learning about the enemy. He cited reading Sun Tzu and Karl Marx as a comparison to “know the enemy.” That’s a false comparison, because he then goes off on “White rage” as the enemy, not CRT. If he’s adamant about reading the teachings of the enemy, then what is his recommended reading list coming from the likes of the KKK or other so called, White Nationalist organizations?

    2. Svelaz, while Turley has long felt the Court should be expanded, he has never claimed it should be packed all at the same time by one President. That would, in effect, be one Branch of government expanding its influence over another.

      Would you be sanguine if the Republican Party decided to expand the Court by 10 seats so that it could stuff it with politicized justices? Shall whomever wins the White House create new SCOTUS seats out of thin air every election, until the Court has 1,000 members?

      Expanding a Court by the number of seats you need to swing the ideology of the majority is very different than simply appointing someone to an existing vacancy.

      Of course DeSantis should prevent Florida public schools from incorporating inherently racist curriculum. Such curriculum violates the Civil Rights of students. It should be intuitively obvious to the meanest understanding that teaching children that people are oppressor or oppressed based on skin color is racist and unethical.

      Democrats are in deep denial about the flood of stories of employees forced to apologize to black employees for being white. For curriculum telling participants they need to “be less white”. For students feeling distress over their own or other’s skin color. Of kids no longer playing with other kids because of this racist ideology.

      Honestly, BLM and CRT’s influence on society is reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s anti-semitic propaganda or Jim Crow. These paradigms taught that one segment of the population was born bad, preyed upon the rest of society, and did not deserve any wealth or success.

      But here the Left is yet again, repeating their mistakes of the past.

      1. Karen, how do you know anything about critical race theory other than what you, as a disciple, heard on the alt-right media sources you faithfully tune into for your daily affirmation? Critical race theory is not taught in grade or high schools, and is only taught on the college level. You’ve never taken any course in critical race theory, and you believe whatever Hannity, Tucker, Laura, Levin and your other heroes tell you. Since you’ve never taken any courses on critical race theory, how do you know that it is inherently racist, other than parroting what you heard on the Hate Network? BLM is NOT an organization–it is a sentiment. Do you disagree that black lives matter? You also don’t know anything about Nazi Germany or Jim Crow, either. And, once again, you use your feeble, unsupported arguments to criticize “the Left”, even attempting to create the false illusion that the evil “Left” is responsible for antisemitism and racism.

          1. “The Federalist” is an extreme-right publication. “Critical Racism Training” is NOT critical race theory. The “training” is provided to instructors, not students. Not the same thing at all, Olly.

            1. “The Federalist” is an extreme-right of you publication.

              FIFY. You’re welcome.

              The “training” is provided to instructors, not students.

              It’s notable that you admit the “training” I speak of is what is provided to the instructors. And that racism training is foundational to the curriculum used to “indoctrinate” the students at all levels of education.

            2. Natacha, are you admitting that you have a small mind? When you constantly advance the idea that anything you don’t agree with is an “extreme-right publication”, you are advancing the idea that you have a small mind.

              SM

        1. Doctor Natacha, so according to you the parents who have seen the curriculum of their elementary students that requires them to admit that because they are white they are oppressors are just making the whole thing up. We have a choice wether to believe you or the parents who have seen what their children are being taught. What would be the advantage for the parents to claim something that is not true? What would be their motivation? Either you or the parents are coming from a place of reality. We have your every day postings to determine from where you hail.

          1. Name some school, ANY school, that REQUIRES teaching elementary students that if they are white, they are oppressors, along with proof. You cannot because that is not the truth. Recently, a school board in a predominantly-white Indiana suburban district had parents storm a school board meeting, demanding that “critical race theory” no longer be taught in that district. Critical race theory was NOT being taught in their school, but they got all fired up because they believed the alt-right media that tells them that schools are REQUIRING this to be taught. It just proves the gullibility of the followers of the Hate Network. These parents left looking like fools.

            1. Natacha, so all these parents are just raising hell for no reason about what their kids are being taught. Of course we realize this is the only thing these parents have to do. I know there just plotting and conniving every hour of there day to bring Natacha and her friends on the left down. With Natacha denial is not just a river in Egypt.

              1. You haven’t named any school teaching critical race theory to actual students BECAUSE THERE AREN’T ANY, and you know it. Instead of admitting you were wrong, you attack me. All of this proves that you are gullible disciples of alt-right media which is working overtime to convince you disciples that critical race theory is indoctrinating white children into believing they are bad. They have to have something to keep stirring the pot, because Biden is doing such a wonderful job in turning things around after the mess created by Trump. You have never had such training, and you don’t know what it’s about, but like the starry-eyed disciple you are, you believe whatever they tell you. Did you see the General yesterday who put Matt Gaetz in his place? Probably not, because alt-right media wouldn’t cover him making a fool of himself.

        2. Doctor Natacha, did you know that the BLM “sentiment” has millions of dollars in the bank. Their bank account must just be a “sentiment” with “sentiment” dollars that can not really be spent. The leader of the BLM “ sentiment” just resigned when it was found that she had invested in over a million dollars worth of “sentiment “ real estate. She and Natacha are all about those black lives that matter.

      2. The Nazis conceived, birthed, and progressed the pejorative “Jew privilege” in order to raise awareness, indoctrinate a consensus, and socially justify their Planned Personhood clinics. The Democrats past brayed Black privilege. The neo-Nazis present bray White privilege with similar conviction.

        Can they abort the baby, cannibalize her profitable parts, sequester her carbon pollutants, and have her, too? Again…

      3. Karen S,

        “ Svelaz, while Turley has long felt the Court should be expanded, he has never claimed it should be packed all at the same time by one President. That would, in effect, be one Branch of government expanding its influence over another.”

        I never claimed the court should be packed all at one time. But that in reality is not unconstitutional or illegal. Turley knows that nothing really prevents one party from doing what he says as packing. It’s legitimately an option to either party.

        Turley has indeed advocated for the expansion of the court.

        “ Democrats are in deep denial about the flood of stories of employees forced to apologize to black employees for being white. For curriculum telling participants they need to “be less white”. For students feeling distress over their own or other’s skin color. Of kids no longer playing with other kids because of this racist ideology.”

        Karen, what employees are being forced to apologize? Hearsay is not evidence of what you claim.

        CRT is not racist or seeks to make white people oppressors or whatever type of fear mongering is being concocted by those who have not read it.

        I’m willing to bet that you haven’t read it. You should give it a chance by actually reading it and THEN you will have a better criticism of it if you find something you disagree with.

    3. Svelaz, a little slow on the uptake are we. Professor Turley had no need to segue into court packing when his premise has all along been that judges do not necessarily vote the way you think they will just because they were appointed by a President of one party or the other. Let me enlighten you. Packing the court is defined as expanding the number of judges sitting on the court. Appointing members of the court to replace judges who have died or retired results in the same number of judges sitting on the court. Packing the court means that you are adding to the number of judges on the court. Elemental enough for you? Please inform us of where Republicans have added to the total number of judges on any court. The grapes in your mind our just sour because Republicans have had the opportunity to REPLACE Judges who could no longer serve or no longer desired to continue their service. The operative word is “replace” rather than “add to”. I was going to ask if you get the drift but I’m afraid that it’s asking to much to get water from a stone.

      1. TIT,

        “ Packing the court is defined as expanding the number of judges sitting on the court. ”

        Nope. Packing the court is defined as appointing judges that are similar to the party’s ideological makeup.

        EXPANDING the court is just increasing the number of seats in a court. PACKING would involve appointing judges, all or a majority of the court, that would be ideologically in line with the appointing party.

        Turley supports the EXPANSION of the court. He is conflating expansion with packing. They are two different things.

      2. TIT,

        “ Please inform us of where Republicans have added to the total number of judges on any court. ”

        Mitch McConnell and republicans HAVE been packing the lower courts with conservative judges throughout the Obama and Trump administrations. Filling in all vacancies with ideologically conservative justices IS packing. It allows for more favorable rulings prior to reaching the Supreme Court.

        1. Slavez , right now The Democrats are talking about packing the court. You tell us that somehow they are only talking about appointing liberal members to the existing structure of the court. They know that the members of the court are appointed for a life time and it would be against the law to replace a member without the happening of a death or a retirement. It then must follow that the only other way to add members of the court would be to change the law to allow more Justices on the court. Hence, the word packing is appropriate. I asked you to provide an instance where the Republicans have changed the law to allow for the expansion of the number of justices. The best you could come up with is a rant about Mitch McConnell replacing members of a court that has experienced either deaths or retirements of its members according to the law. As Obama said, elections have consequences. Now because the Biden administration can replace such Justices for the same reasons the likelihood of your caterwauling about adding Justices to the existing structure of the courts will undoubtedly come to a screeching halt. The sad part is that you know what packing the court refers to but you’ve created a narrative without merit and your sticking to it. An honest person would simply say, sorry I have been mistaken in my assumptions. We will hear no such confession from you because you do not fit the honesty criteria.

          1. TIT, SOME democrats have been advocating for packing the courts. Others have just advocated to expand it and have a more ideologically balanced court. The latter is a better option than the former. Republicans don’t want to expand the court because currently the court is heavily tilted towards a conservative ideology. Expanding the court allows democrats to balance the ideological makeup of the court, in effect making it more neutral. That would be more beneficial to both parties because it would give the court more credibility.

    4. Svelaz, according to your logic if we can teach CRT to our children it should also be allowed that white supremacy can be taught in our schools. Please tell us that you would not ban the teaching of white supremacy. We come to conclusions about our teaching by trying to be as close to the truth as we can be. It is not true that the white race is a superior race and it is not true that all white people are born racist. Both of these philosophy’s are rent from the same bigoted cloth and wether one or the other is sewn into the lining of your coat doesn’t matter. It is still part of your inner trappings.

      1. TIT,

        “ Svelaz, according to your logic if we can teach CRT to our children it should also be allowed that white supremacy can be taught in our schools. Please tell us that you would not ban the teaching of white supremacy.”

        You’re right. If CRT can be taught to children white supremacy can be taught too. I wouldn’t ban it, BUT there is no real support for teaching it. Even you wouldn’t support it.

        CRT is not equivalent to teaching white supremacy however, because it analyzes racism throughout our history and it’s long established links to our foundation as a country. It does not teach kids they are oppressors because they are white or that they have to apologize because of what happened 150 years ago. CRT does none of that. It’s the false narrative being told by right leaning think tanks who don’t want to have the discussion because it paints an ugly picture about our true history.

        People like a positive rosy history about our country, but the reality is we really don’t have that. We are “the greatest nation on earth” idea is purely a fantasy meant to reinforce a notion that as are that country who is not like the others. Unfortunately that’s not true. There ARE others who are better.

    5. So if the Gov. is not allowed to determine what child students learn, who decides? Joe Biden? Jo-mama? Some dimwit disgusting creep unelected progressive whore?

  8. I do not even know how this joke of a question made it to the Supreme Court. If it is not apparent that these girls had every right to make these comments, I want to know what became of our Bill of Rights?

  9. Now we need the high court to rule on the right of business monopolies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc to censor speech and punish at will their political enemies while clearly promoting themselves as speech channels and not publishers who can determine what’s right. All the more important when they proved how wrong Big Tech has been for the last 4 years.

    1. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al, are NOT governmental entities. A public school IS a governmental entity, and that’s the crucial difference when it comes to regulating speech. These social media entities are NOT monopolies. Anyone who wants to can create their own social media platform, as many have. They are not publishers of the content, either–those who post images, videos and writings are the publishers. These social media entities engage in contractual relationships with those wanting to use their platform. Your hero violated the “Terms of Service” by spreading lies and instigating a riot. That’s why they kicked him off, and no amount of whining by him, his alt-right media enablers and disciples will change the facts.

      1. Doctor Natacha, there were private businesses in the south that prohibited black people from using their water fountain. They excluded people that they wanted to exclude. You say that private business should be able to exclude anyone they want to. It would follow then that you would agree that the private business who prohibited blacks from drinking from their water fountains had a right to do so. You must agree that they could have built their own water fountains and some have. Prejudice based on the color of ones skin or ones political philosophy is still prejudice. Would your tune be the same if Twitter blocked Stacy Abrams. Would you still say that they are a private business and they have the right to block whomever they want to. I think not.

  10. Turley: I hope this is the last time you need to be corrected about anyone wanting to “pack the court to create “a liberal MAJORITY”. No Democrat has suggested that, and you keep saying this to throw red meat to the disciples. This needs to stop because it is not accurate. What has been suggested is to add justices to level the playing field because Republicans unfairly packed the court with right wingers whose views do not align with the majority of the American people. Obama, who was legally elected by the majority of Americans twice, was denied his choice of Merrick Garland, so Gorsuch shouldn’t be on the court. McConnell’s alleged reason for preventing a vote on Garland was the proximity of the election, but that didn’t stop Republicans from shoving Barrett onto the court before they lost their majority, which they knew would happen. Hypocrisy doesn’t bother Republicans. Republicans wouldn’t have had a majority but for gerrymandering Twenty five witnesses begged to testify against Kavanaugh, and the Republicans blocked them, too. So these three shouldn’t even be on the SCOTUS. Adding judges to temper the influence of these three, vetted by the Federalist Society, a right-wing extremist group, would create a court with fundamental views of the law that are consistent with the majority of the American people. Explain to me, Turley, why the views of SCOTUS Judges, the court of last resort, shouldn’t be consistent with the views of the majority of Americans. Why should Republicans get away with making lifetime appointments to the court of last resort of people whose views are extreme by gaming the system?

    Today’s decision is far from a landmark. The SCOTUS made clear that the only reason that they sided with the little foul-mouthed sore loser is that her f-bomb tirade did not interfere with school functioning. If she had said these things at school, the ruling would have been different. So, there isn’t any fundamental right for a dumbass cheerleader to engage in a profanity-laced tantrum when she doesn’t get her way. I know that the founders of this country didn’t have that in mind when they enshrined freedom of speech as a fundamental right. And, why shouldn’t schools be allowed to discipline students like her regardless of where and under what circumstances she proved just how low-class, emotionally immature and volatile she is? Schools are supposed to inculcate certain values, and among these are respect for the institution and teachers. She has neither.

    1. Natacha said: ” Obama, who was legally elected by the majority of Americans twice, was denied his choice of Merrick Garland, so Gorsuch shouldn’t be on the court.”

      If one listens to Neil Gorsuch speak and then listens to the current Attorney General, Merrick Garland speak, or even watches Garland’s less-than-impressive confirmation hearing, it becomes plainly evident to intelligent people that Garland had no place on the U.S. Supreme Court.

      America is fortunate to have a justice of the caliber of Neil Gorsuch. And ACB. And yes, also Kavanaugh.

  11. Flipping a teacher and calling them names is not a new concern in America. The difference is that there is now social media to make sure it never goes away. I found it both concerning and a life lesson for a student to be punished for a year over a momentary lapse of discretion.

    This is a win today for free speech and the start to figure where the line is going to be drawn for both students and the beginning of larger society. I have noticed school reaching out to punish for clearly off campus and off hours speech. This is in my mind the first step to overturn the Morse v. Frederick case (Bong Hits for Jesus) decision.

    This is a warning shot, make no mistake.

  12. Definitely a step in the right direction but I am not sure how far that step should go. We are dealing with children who have a right to voice opinions, but should their voices have no bounds?

      1. I agree parents should set those boundaries, but there are limits. Where those limits lie with children needs to be better defined. As a rule I stick to the more speech principle.

    1. We are dealing with children who have a right to voice opinions, but should their voices have no bounds?

      The state has a duty to protect the right of free speech equally, not to function as the parent to set boundaries and consequences.

      1. Olly, all that is understandable, but children are not adults. Some children don’t have normal adults as parents. Are you saying that a child with no parental boundaries should be told he has the right to say whatever he wishes over and over again?

        1. Are you saying that a child with no parental boundaries should be told he has the right to say whatever he wishes over and over again?

          I’m saying the state is supposed to protect rights and our culture should set boundaries. The problem I see today is those roles have been reversed. The bureaucratic state’s heavy hand is imposing boundaries and our culture is in a dogfight to protect our rights from abuse by the state.

          1. Olly, we are on two different subjects. You are discussing the rights of adults and I am discussing the rights of children that do not have appropriate supervision. I agree that roles have been reversed but the question was:

            “Are you saying that a child with no parental boundaries should be told he has the right to say whatever he wishes over and over again?”

            1. Seth,
              The rights of adults and children are exactly the same. The role of government regarding the security of this right doesn’t change because the individual is a minor. If a minor does not have parental boundaries, then I would suggest that is the different subject. What role does the state have when parents fail to be parents? How is that to be measured? My wife and I are licensed foster parents. We’ve seen this role carried out first hand. We adopted our son through this process. Both birth parents admitted in court that they were either unable or unwilling to follow a process to prove they were up to being responsible parents. They willingly waived their rights and we adopted him.

              1. “The rights of adults and children are exactly the same.”

                Olly, I agree the state is a bad parent. I don’t think we are on the same page. Children have lesser rights than adults. They cannot drive, drink, sign contracts etc. Right there, the rights of adults and children are different.

                Tell me what one does. A nine year old writes on social media every day that certain teachers are ugly and do all sorts of things and that certain students …. For some kids their teachers are the only ones to sensibly guide these kids and prod them in the right direction. What do you suggest?

                1. We were discussing the first amendment and more broadly, natural rights. The state’s role in the security of those rights doesn’t change. Regarding minors, parents are to exercise the authority over their children for “legal” boundaries and consequences in their expression of their rights. A term I read from a legal site is disabled. Unalienable rights cannot be taken away, but they can be disabled for a number of legitimate reasons. Incarceration for example is a disabling of rights. You listed rights like driving, drinking, contracts that are disabled to minors for what Bastiat would consider incapacity reasons.

                  For some kids their teachers are the only ones to sensibly guide these kids and prod them in the right direction. What do you suggest?

                  Seth,
                  I would suggest we get to the root cause of why we should expect teachers/schools to take on the role of parents and the community.

                  1. As I said, we are on a different page.

                    My initial remark that started this thread was, “We are dealing with children who have a right to voice opinions, but should their voices have no bounds?”

                    You wish to consider the rights of children and adults as equal despite the fact children cannot drink, drive, vote, or sign contracts, all of which are rights permitted to adults.

                    There was no disagreement that the state should protect rights, but that gets us back to children and the 9-year old I mentioned that you seemed to forget. I don’t believe it is the school’s exclusive duty to restrain a 9-year old that is way out of bounds. It is society’s role when no parent exists to manage the aberrant situation. Schools are the most accessible to such children.

                    When that 9-year old exists, we can’t quote doctrine. That does nothing for the 9-year old. We have to do what we can. Since you don’t like my suggestions, you must have a better suggestion.

                    Let us hear it.

                    1. but that gets us back to children and the 9-year old I mentioned that you seemed to forget.

                      Forget? What part of minor does not include a child or 9 year old?

                      Schools are the most accessible to such children.

                      No kidding. So are pediatricians. But I don’t want my child’s doctor functioning as his parent either.

                      Since you don’t like my suggestions, you must have a better suggestion.

                      I provided one. I would suggest we get to the root cause of why we should expect teachers/schools to take on the role of parents and the community.

                    2. “I would suggest we get to the root cause of why we should expect teachers/schools to take on the role of parents and the community.”

                      Olly, while we are getting to the root of the problem what do we do with the nine year old child?

                      [The initial statement was: “We are dealing with children who have a right to voice opinions, but should their voices have no bounds?”]

                    3. “You also said, As a rule I stick to the more speech principle. I agree.”

                      That is true, but the question remains. What do we do with that nine year old child? Sometimes we are forced to compromise while we figure out an answer to a problem.

                    4. Compromise? You’ve agreed with me on points. I’ve agreed with you on points. You’ve got a 9 year old squarely in your sights. Refresh my memory, what has this child done, and where are his/her parents?

                    5. Olly, it is not what specifically the nine year old has done, rather what he has done that requires some type of action rather than ‘we will discuss the matter and in the future maybe we can arrange how to handle this problem.’ Let’s assume, as I said before, the nine year old continuously writes terrible untrue and painful things on social media about his school, teachers and other students that are nine years old and being hurt by such continuous comments.

                    6. Olly, OK, you can proceed as you wish. We can have all the nine year olds out of control while you ponder significance. That it is harmful to others, seemingly doesn’t matter.

                      I believe we have to act as a society to protect our children. I am not sure what you believe because you don’t answer the question of what you suggest.

                    7. Seth,
                      You never did answer: where are his/her parents? Absent that, I believe I’ve seen this movie before, Home Alone. But instead of the 9 year old fending off a couple of nitwit burglars, he’s hacked into his parent’s computer and is saying mean things to his teacher, school and other 9 year old’s. Make a visit to the home, find out where the parents are. Assess the situation and if necessary, place the child in CPS.

                    8. “You never did answer: where are his/her parents?”

                      Olly, I said the parents weren’t adequately taking care of the problem. We are talking about what the unsupervised child is doing, not what the parents are doing.

                      “Assess the situation and if necessary, place the child in CPS.”

                      Aside from the fact that CPS is overwhelmed and ineffective in certain areas, suddenly, you accept a method that abridges the child’s rights. I think the school can do a better job than CPS if permitted to take specific actions. If you look at the research in NYC, you will note that one reason charter schools did better was discipline and not allowing certain types of behavior.

                      I will repeat what I believe. I believe we have to act as a society to protect our children.

                      …And I will repeat the statement that apparently got us into this unproductive mini thread. “We are dealing with children who have a right to voice opinions, but should their voices have no bounds?”

                    9. And I will repeat the statement that apparently got us into this unproductive mini thread.

                      You are all over the place. Parents are doing an inadequate job in supervising their children. 9 year old’s are being cyber-bullied by a 9 year old. Minor’s have less rights than adults. Charter schools are discipling students and controlling behavior, better than CPS. CPS is infringing the rights of minors. Society has to protect our children. Should children’s free speech rights have no bounds?

                      Are you trying to solve a rights issue? Are you trying to solve a parenting issue? Are you trying protect minors from other minors? What role should schools have other than education? Focus. Focus. Focus.

                      I stand by this comment, given your open advocacy for charter schools.

                      I would suggest we get to the root cause of why we should expect teachers/schools to take on the role of parents and the community.

                    10. “You are all over the place.”

                      How so, Olly. I was very clear from the beginning about what was in my mind and I focused on one fictitious nine year old boy. You went all over the place with the we have to this that and that, absent a solution for that particular 9 year old. You didn’t want to abridge his rights which is something we both hesitate to do, but in the end you call in CPS to abridge his rights despite the fact that your approach is ineffective.

                      You keep talking about theory when a practical problem is involved.

                      My statement was: ““We are dealing with children who have a right to voice opinions, but should their voices have no bounds?”

                      The answer is their voices can be abridged and the school is one of the places to abridge their voices when parents are not involved as they should be.

                      Now you can get back to your five or ten year plan to get to the root cause.

                    11. The answer is their voices can be abridged and the school is one of the places to abridge their voices when parents are not involved as they should be.

                      Well then I had you pegged right from the get go. That’s why you’ve dodged my initial suggestion. You besmirch actual root cause analysis because what, it takes too long? So instead, you don’t propose fixing the real problem and instead turn educators into pseudo-parents. You know who else wants that? Hard core progressives.

                      So you do you and I will once again suggest we get to the root cause of why we should expect teachers/schools to take on the role of parents and the community.

                    12. Olly, trying to sound indignant doesn’t look good on you.

                      “Well then I had you pegged right from the get go. That’s why you’ve dodged my initial suggestion. You besmirch actual root cause analysis because what, it takes too long? ”

                      You know you are trying to hang onto something. I never disagreed with looking into root causes. Instead, I asked what we should do now. We have been looking at root causes for decades and more. I wanted to know what to do for the present.

                      Your claim that I turn to educators is not accurate. I turn to everyone that is involved for the best solution at present we have to offer. That is one of the reasons I have fought for charter schools in NYC. They reduce the issue surrounding the fictitious nine-year-old. I was hoping you wouldn’t put words in my mouth to satisfy a problem you have with your argument.

                      That nine-year-old and many more like him will have to wait, and then perhaps after ten years, you will say there is no problem for that nine-year-old. HE is now nineteen and an adult.

                      “but should their voices have no bounds?”

                      Their voices should absolutely have limits, and we should be using all the resources we have at present. The schools are one resource. The pediatrician you brought up is another if the child even has a physician. Neighbors and extended family are other resources, but for some reason, you got hot under the collar when I was suggesting that under certain circumstances, schools and teachers could be important resources.

                    13. SM,

                      “ You wish to consider the rights of children and adults as equal despite the fact children cannot drink, drive, vote, or sign contracts, all of which are rights permitted to adults.”

                      Drinking is not a right, neither is driving, that’s a privilege. Signing contracts is not a right. The only thing that is is voting. They get that right when they turn 18.

                      Free speech applies to everyone. And that includes students in school k-12.

                      The rights afforded in the constitution apply to every person within this country’s borders.

                    14. Svelaz, context counts, but it doesn’t appear that you recognize context.

                      Freedom of speech is a right. Driving is a privilege, as you say.

                      Now, how do you suggest we handle that nine year old I was talking about?

                      SM

                  2. Olly,
                    “I would suggest we get to the root cause of why we should expect teachers/schools to take on the role of parents and the community.”

                    I agree with you mostly on this. Teachers and schools, though, are also expected to reinforce social skills. Employers reinforce social skills by expecting certain aspects of dress and decorum.

                    I agree parents shouldn’t off-load this primary responsibility onto the shoulders of teachers and schools. Who’s the parent, for heaven’s sake!

                    1. Teachers and schools, though, are also expected to reinforce social skills. Employers reinforce social skills by expecting certain aspects of dress and decorum.

                      I agree Prairie Rose. The keyword is reinforce; as in supporting what is being taught by the parents and to a greater extent the community.

                    2. Prairie, I agree with both of you and have said so, but that nine year old kid is out there waiting for you and Olly to provide an answer as to what to do right now. Do we discuss his fate until he reaches his teens and is shot in the street or shoots someone else? While we are waiting for the answer the problem is waiting for us to handle the individual problems before us.

                      This is the initial statement: “We are dealing with children who have a right to voice opinions, but should their voices have no bounds?”

  13. Macy Gray and Barry Soetoro want to abolish the freedom of speech and expression, exercised through the flying of the American flag, and engage in “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

      1. Some, Select [Black] Lives Matter?

        Planned Parent/hood?

        The Rainbow banner of inclusive exclusion (“=”)?

        The United Nations of redistributive change, rape-rape, and social justice?

        Oh… Pro-Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, without diversity, inequity, and exclusion. That flag.

        RED symbolizes strength and valor
        WHITE symbolizes purity and innocence
        BLUE symbolizes vigilance, perseverance and justice

        Deplorable.

  14. Mr. Hamilton would like to say a few words to provide appropriate perspective.

    Go ahead, Mr. Hamilton.

    Ahem!

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton
    _________________

    Having sworn to support the Constitution, most of the judicial branch and Supreme Court should have been impeached and convicted long ago for usurpation, extreme dereliction and gross negligence, if not treason, for their consequential failure to strike down pervasive, egregious, anti-American violations of the clear meaning of Article 1, Section 8, which denies Congress, outside of security and infrastructure, any power to tax for anything other than “…general Welfare…,” to regulate anything other than money, commerce and land and naval Forces, or to “claim or exercise dominion” over private property. The entire American welfare state is unconstitutional.

    The Court should be congratulated for obtaining sufficient education to allow it to actually read the 1st Amendment. Never did the American Founders provide the Supreme Court with any power to legislate, legislate through “interpretation,” “legislate from the bench,” or otherwise rewrite the words of the Founders. That Justices have a personal position on any particular issue, does not afford them the power to revise and dictate. The sole mission and charge of the judicial branch and Supreme Court is to assure that actions comport with the literal Constitution and to “declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

  15. B.L. should realize a year of JV is not a step down by any means. Hell, when I was in high school in the 70’s my JV hoops team in Denver got to learn the forerunner of what became the Triangle offense from a coach who’d been an acquaintance of Tex Winter (credited with designing the Triangle) in his Texas college days. Granted my coach wore plaid and said things like: if you stay on the floor for more than 2 seconds with an injury I’ll know it’s up in your head and you’re done for the day. So I’d take a charge, have the back of my head slam off the floor right after my ass did and then hop right up not remembering how we actually got to the game. But by the end of the season we’d beat the varsity in half of our scrimmages..

    Good times.

    Anyway, B.L. was on to something anyway…, F&*k school.

    eb

Leave a Reply