Monday, June 25, 2007

How Each Justice Voted in "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Case

Below is how each justice voted in the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case. The President who nominated each to the Supreme Court is in parentheses following their names.

Justices who supported the majority ruling:

Chief Justice John Roberts (George W. Bush)
Arntoniin Scalia (Ronald Reagan)
Anthony Kennedy (Ronald Reagan)
Clarence Thomas (George H. W. Bush)
Samuel Alito (George W. Bush)

Justice who noted separately he would give Principal Deborah Morse qualified immunity from the lawsuit, but did not sign onto the majority's broader free speech limits on students:

Stephen Breyer (Bill Clinton)

Justices who dissented the ruling:

John Paul Stevens (Gerald Ford)
David Souter (George H. W. Bush)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Bill Clinton)

Writing for the court’s majority, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, "It was reasonable for (the principal) to conclude that the banner promoted illegal drug use-- and that failing to act would send a powerful message to the students in her charge."

In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "This case began with a silly nonsensical banner, (and) ends with the court inventing out of whole cloth a special First Amendment rule permitting the censorship of any student speech that mentions drugs, so long as someone could perceive that speech to contain a latent pro-drug message."

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