Category Archives: Law

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

From the BBC:

The US Supreme Court is considering its first major test of students’ free speech rights in two decades.

At issue is whether a school principal violated a student’s right to free speech by suspending him for displaying a banner reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”.

The principal’s lawyer, a certain Kenneth Star, frames the case as one of drug laws. That is, in order to stop drug use in America’s schools, school administrators need to be able to drill the message into students that drugs are bad without being contradicted by attention-seeking class clowns.

To me, this seems about as bad as using history classes to teach national myths and propaganda.

Says Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick:

The justices appear to loathe each alternative about equally. At some point, Justice Stephen Breyer groans that a ruling for the students would encourage them to be “testing limits all over the place in the high schools,” whereas a ruling for the schools would certainly end up limiting lots of speech.

I doubt there will be serious repercussions if the Court rules in favour of the students. After all, it was hardly the end of the world when schools lost the ability to physically punish students.

Fundamental Justice

The Supreme Court of Canada rightly struck down the government’s “security certificates” today.

Citizen or not, the government should not have the extraordinary power to imprison or deport people without charge.

We live in a country governed by laws. It’s not a hard concept to grasp.

Three parents. So What?

It’s amazing what some people will get all riled up about.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that a child can have three parents. Specifically, the lesbian partner of the birth mother is now Mom Number Two. Apparently the three now-parents were already raising the child together, so all the ruling does is give legal recognition to reality.

Yes, it’s something of a grey area whether or not the courts have the power to make that kind of decision. The solution is for the government (whichever level has the authority) to modify the law to recognize these kinds of families. All the government would be doing is giving these parents solid legal ground on which to raise their children.

Yet, the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (“NAMBLA”) is acting as if this is just one more piece of the sky falling. They reiterate a plea for a Royal Commission on “the Future of the Family”… because when you seriously want to get something done in Canada, and fast, everyone’s first thought is “Royal Commission.”

This all seems a bit like the gay marriage brouhaha. Legislation recognizing gay marriage doesn’t create gay couples. There are already gay couples. It just gives them the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.

There are already three-parent families, except only two of the parents are legal guardians. This legal ruling (and eventually, legislation) will make three-parent families better families. It is no threat to “traditional marriage,” however that is defined.