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SCOTUS won't consider off-campus school speech

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The nation’s highest court has declined to take a pair of cases asking whether schools can censor the off-campus behavior of students who post messages or photos against school officials or other students.

In an order list released Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States did not accept certiorari in the cases of Blue Mountain School District v. J.S., No. 11-502, and Kowalski v. Berkeley County Schools, No. 11-461.

The Pennsylvania and West Virginia cases involved questions pitting student free speech rights against those of school safety. The cases presented the SCOTUS with a chance to rule for the first time about how far school officials’ authority goes in the modern age.

In Blue Mountain, the full 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals found that two Pennsylvania students couldn’t be disciplined at school for parodies of their principal that they made on home computers and posted online. In Kowalski, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a West Virginia student’s suspension stemming from the creation of a webpage that suggested another student had a sexually transmitted disease.

This issue is one that Indiana has addressed, with U.S. Chief Judge Philip Simon in the Northern District of Indiana ruling in August that a school district shouldn’t have disciplined two high school girls who posted provocative online photos of themselves posing with phallic lollipops and simulating sexual acts. In T.V. and M.K. v. Smith-Green Community School Corp. and Austin Couch, No. 1:09-CV-00290, Simon determined that because the pictures were outside of school, they are protected by the First Amendment.

 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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