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January 18, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
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Featured Program

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Does Free Speech Stop at the Schoolhouse Door?
Last Featured: 4/30/2007

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Should a high school student have a right to hang a banner saying “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” without fear of disciplinary action? That’s the question in Morse v. Frederick, a case argued recently in the Supreme Court that addresses whether school administrators can limit what is said both in school buildings and outside at school-sponsored events. And should the rules change if school authorities are trying to preserve order or ensure a singular message on the use of drugs? This week on Justice Talking: from school dress codes to school newspapers, free speech in schools.

The Facts of Student Speech
Host Margot Adler talks with professor Robert Richards about what rights students have to free speech and the limits to those rights.

Robert Richards is professor of journalism and law and founding co-director of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment at Penn State. He co-authored "Mass Communications Law in Pennsylvania" and is the author of "Freedom’s Voice: The Perilous Present and Uncertain Future of the First Amendment."

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Debate on the Issue: Morse v. Frederick
Kenneth Starr of Pepperdine University and Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice debate Morse v. Frederick, a case that's before the Supreme Court testing the limits of student speech.

In 2002, Joseph Frederick, a then 18-year-old high school senior in Juneau, Alaska, unfurled a banner that said "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" at a school-supervised event. His principal, Deborah Morse, confiscated the banner and suspended Frederick for 10 days. She says the banner’s message violates the school's anti-drug policy. Frederick argues his actions are protected by the First Amendment.

Kenneth Starr is the dean of Pepperdine University School of Law. He represented principal Deborah Morse and the Juneau School Board in Morse v. Frederick before the Supreme Court. He was both a former solicitor general of the United States and a United States Circuit Judge. Starr was also appointed to serve as independent counsel for five investigations, including Whitewater, from August 1994 to October 1999.

Jay Sekulow is chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a law firm and educational organization that specializes in constitutional law. His organization supports Joseph Frederick’s position in this case. In 2005, TIME Magazine named Sekulow one of the "25 Most Influential Evangelicals" in America and called the ACLJ "a powerful counterweight" to the ACLU.

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Report on Student Speech
Brooke Binkowski reports from a high school just outside of San Diego where students are exercising their right to free speech. Some students there observe a "Day of Silence" to combat homophobia in schools, while others hold a pro-Christian "Day of Truth."

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Rights of the Student Press
Host Margot Adler speaks with Mark Goodman of the Student Press Law Center about the current conflicts over student newspapers and the state of student free-press rights.

Mark Goodman is executive director of the Student Press Law Center. Goodman received a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Duke University.

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Interview with Mary Beth Tinker
Host Margot Adler talks with Mary Beth Tinker about her role in the history of student speech.

Mary Beth Tinker was 13 when she and several other students wore black arm bands to school to protest the Vietnam War and were suspended. Her legal challenge to the suspension, Tinker v. Des Moines School District, went to the Supreme Court. The landmark decision in that 1969 case defined student-speech rights.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier
Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser
Morse v. Frederick (The OYEZ Project)
First Amendment Center - student expression issues
Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment
ACLU - Morse v. Frederick
American Center for Law and Justice
The Student Press Law Center
Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech
by Cass R. Sunstein
Student Newspaper Survival Guide
by Rachele Kanigel
The Silencing of Student Voices
by David L. Hudson Jr.
We, The Students
by Jamin B. Raskin
Regulation of the Entertainment Industry
The FCC's New Rules for Media Ownership
Pornography and the First Amendment