Is Democracy Dead in the US?

When the Supreme Court took on the Bong Hits 4 Jesus case, they dug themselves into a corner. By accepting the case, they have said that they do not agree with the court of appeal, which found that the overstepping of bounds by the principal was so egregious that damages were awarded. In other words, the appeal court found that anyone should have known that to tear down the banner and penalize the young man was contrary to his rights. Anyone, but especially a school principal. When the hearing began in the Supreme Court, they unexpectedly found themselves faced with adversaries from extremely diverse parts of the spectrum; far more diverse than the 'usual suspects' like the ACLU but also including far right organizations, and religious fundamentalists. This they did not expect. The Supremes now find themselves in an unenviable position; they can't do what is right, because they have already taken the case, and to just say that the appeal court got it right would be impossible. They can't find that the principal did NOT overstep her bounds, that stifling adult free speech on a public sidewalk by another adult is OK, because to do so would be the end of free speech, and thus the end of democracy. Now the squirming begins. They have miscalculated their position, and now must find some wrinkle, some minor point, which they can use to 'tweak' the finding in a significant enough way that there is justification for having taken on the case. They are lawyers, so this is familiar territory; picking the flyshit out of the pepper. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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