Monday, June 8, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor doesn't support the First Amendment

We know Sonia Sotomayor doesn't support your 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, but who'd of guessed that this judge would also fail to support your freedom of speech rights?

Certainly not one Avery Doninger, who referred to her high school's administrators as "douchebags" and encouraged other students to take action by calling and emailing with complaints when the school administration canceled a Jazzfest in 2007.
On May 29th, 2008, a US Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that the administration had acted within the bounds of their authority. The court made the ruling not so much because of the "douchebags" comment, but because her encouragement of students to contact the administration could cause a "foreseeable risk of substantial disruption to the work and discipline of the school." She had said on her blog that students could contact the Superintendent "to piss her off more." The court stressed that their decision was not an endorsement of schools regulating off-campus speech. Thomas Gerarde, representing the school district, was quick to assert that "any speech that is likely to come to the attention of administrators on campus, even though it’s off campus, will be subject to discipline if it’s disruptive."
Judge Sotomayor's opinion; schools have an obligation to impart to their students “shared values,” which include not only the importance of free expression but a “proper respect for authority”.

Odd, and here I thought schools were supposed to teach students how to read, write and do some arithmetic. I thought that maybe if there was free time between Gym class and lunch, maybe schools can even squeeze in a quick history lesson and go over the Bill of Rights, you remember, the amendment that says you have the right to petition the government for the redress of grievances? Seems like Avery was just doing the American thing. The last time I checked, public schools were still in some way, unfortunately, sort-of-kind-of the government and I can't see how a student asking other students to protest is somehow un-American.

Sonia Sotomayor: hater of youths - hater of the Bill of Rights.... I wonder what word Avery Doninger might use here, douchebag?.


ambrosiajr said...

Did you even bother to look up any other rulings on Public Schools and Free Speech before you wrote this ridiculous post? If not, go here:

you will see that not all speech in the schools are protected. These rulings started around 1969 and there are numerous cases where students were not allowed to say certain things since its disruptive to the overall objectives of the entire school and not just individuals.

You are just jaded by your hate and contempt for anything democrat.

James Hogan said...

Indeed I've read plenty of cases based around youth rights, and have criticized just about all of them.

The 1969 ruling you cite is, I assume, the Tinker decision ie: students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.

If you had bothered to do some research on the Doninger case, you'd see that the blog post (of all things) in question was not made at school, during school time, using school resources, etc. The blog post in question simply called the administrators "douchebags" and asked others to make a phone call. Her actual blog post was:

"jamfest is cancelled due to douchebags in central office. here is an email that we sent to a ton of people and asked them to forward to everyone in their address book to help get support for jamfest. basically, because we sent it out, Paula Schwartz is getting a TON of phone calls and emails and such. we have so much support and we really appriciate it. however, she got pissed off and decided to just cancel the whole thing all together. anddd so basically we aren’t going to have it at all, but in the slightest chance we do it is going to be after the talent show on may 18th. is the letter we sent out to parents."

I see nothing so outrageous in this blog post to warrant the school board prohibiting Doninger from running for Class Secretary, and then not counting her write-in votes.

In fact, I'll go one step further and say that not only does Sotomayor explicitly say that students are supposed to show "respect for authority" (not to mention who, how, when, where the school board was granted any kind of authority over student's most basic rights) BUT by defending the decision of the school board to Tinker (no-pun-intended) in the school's election process, Sotomayor implies that students should accept vote fraud by the authorities.

Unacceptable Rick. We're not talking about a student who yelled "FIRE" in the lunch room, disrupted class(es) with profanities or caused any other problems in school. Doninger's action were not disruptive to other students and did not effect their ability to learn, or the teachers ability to teach. There is, and was, no reason for the school board to take any actions against Doninger and there is even less of a reason that a judge should imply that youth's lack the most fundamental rights.

Live Free, Start Young.