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4 Votes 4 Bong Hits 4 Jesus:

SCOTUSblog reports. (Recall that it takes four Justices' votes to agree to hear a case.)

Ex-Fed (mail):
I don't know enough about Morse to guess whether it bodes well or ill for student speech rights that SCOTUS took that one.

However, I found this bit on SCOTUSblog endearing:

"The student, Joseph Frederick, at the time a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School, was suspended for ten days after holding up a banner at a school-sponsored rally; the banner read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" -- "bong" is a slang word for the paraphernalia used to smoke marijuana, and "bong hits" is teen slang for smoking pot."

It's so earnest. Can we imagine anyone reading a Supreme Court blog who requires that explanation?
12.1.2006 7:05pm
tdsj:
The petitioners' brief strikes me as more than a little troubling. I don't really care about the qualified immunity question -- maybe they're right about that -- but on the merits, I hope to God they don't win.

High schools can censor speech that is lewd or patently offensive of disruptive. That's fine. I don't think "Bong Hits For Jesus" really qualifies -- it's more jokey than anything else. I don't think that slogan is anything more than mildly humorous to the average high schooler in 2006.

If the SC were to disagree on that point, I think they'd be sociologically inept, but it wouldn't be that bad.

But the petitioners present a much, much broader argument. They argue that schools can censor speech that disagrees with the official message taught by the school. The school teaches that drugs are bad; therefore, they can prevent students from voicing a contrary view.

So if schools teach evolution, they can prevent students from advocating creationism? So if schools teach some interpretation of the Civil War, they can suppress a contrary interpretation?

That seems both crazy and frightening.
12.1.2006 9:00pm
Pennywit (mail):
I'm looking forward to the marijuana puns in the press ... they're always so original.

--|PW|--
12.1.2006 10:02pm
John Jenkins (mail):
tdsj,

Bong Hits 4 Jesus might be disruptive in a classroom, but the setting here makes the issue even more troubling than you let on. I just don't think that SCOTUS can reverse the holding on that part of the case and be remotely consistent with precedent. I'd like to think they took the case to uphold the free speech holding and reverse the QI holding.
12.1.2006 10:06pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
There's a difference between expressing a contrary viewpoint regarding the civil war and advocating drug use, tdsj... I suppose you think the school is also being facist for not allowing these Champions of the First Amendment to bring the subject of their advocacy to school?

And I'm not sure it would be "inept" of the Supreme Court to think their precedent requires a holding against the kids in this case... I'm sure all the kids at the assembly thought "He will stand firm for each and every one of you!" to be mildly humorous as well. It's more about the subject matter and its appropriateness for the school setting than patent disruptiveness or offensiveness. In Fraser, the school was allowed to restrict sexually-themed speech... this is drug-related speech.
12.1.2006 10:16pm
tdsj:
The speech in Fraser -- a long penis rant -- seems more offensive than a "Bong Hits for Jesus" shirt. Plus, in Fraser it was a speech at school that all students (14-yr-olds) were required to attend. The event here was an Olympic Torch Relay event that the school allowed its students to attend, and for which the students provided transportation.

To me, it seems different on the facts. Reasonable people can disagree about that. But putting aside all of those fine-grained questions...

Is all drug-related speech banned from school? This is what concerns me about the petitioners' argument.

The school wants to say "Marijuana use is wrong and you shouldn't do it." Can a high school student in school respond: "I disagree. I believe that marijuana use is just fine, and marijuana laws are stupid."

The petitioners' argument suggests that a school can punish a kid for presenting that argument. Even if the speech is not disruptive or lewd or offensive, they can punish a kid for saying something that is contrary to the school's "educational mission."

By their own terms, they are not just relying on SC precedent. Based on existing precedent, they identify three categories where schools are allowed to regulate speech. Their argument is not that this fits into one of those categories. Rather, they are asking the SC to create a new category. A "contrary to the schools' educational mission" category.

That seems wrong to me. More than wrong.
12.1.2006 11:02pm
tdsj:
(banner, not shirt. sorry.)
12.1.2006 11:09pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Don't take this the wrong way, tdsj... I'm only pointing this out to you so you're aware of it. You look at the nomination speech in Fraser (which was far from obscene... suggestive is the word I'd use) and call it a "long penis rant", and then you call "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" a reasoned debate on the validity of drug laws.

I understand you probably take an absolutist view of freedom of speech... I don't necessarily disagree with your policy preferences, but you're not being fair to the facts.
12.1.2006 11:28pm
tdsj:
No, that's completely fair. I probably overstated the differences between the contents of the "speeches" (thought the contexts were materially different). I actually don't think the speech in Fraser was that offensive either.

But my point is a little different. If you argue that this is similar to Fraser on the facts of it, that's one thing. But the petitioners in their brief argued something much broader.

They are arguing that you can't disagree with the school on this point. The school wants to sent the message "marijuana is bad." According the petitioners' brief, it is ok for the school to punish people who express a contrary message -- including people who really do it in a reasoned way.

Put differently, the petitioners are not arguing that drug-related speech is inappropriate in school. They themselves want to make drug-related speeches.

What they are arguing is that any drug-related speech that disagrees with the school's position is inappropriate in school. They are arguing, in other words, that viewpoint discrimination is allowed in this context.

There are lots of fact-based ways to settle this case. You can make reasonable fact-based arguments that would result in finding no First Amendment violation. But the actual argument made by the party in their cert petition is a legal argument that is, to me, troubling.
12.1.2006 11:46pm
tdsj:
And even though the banner wasn't "reasoned" or articulate, it sends a certain message. Indeed, that is the very premise of the petitioners' argument -- the banner sent a message that marijuana is ok, that message contradicted our message, so we punished him for it.

Note how that's different from Fraser. The penis rant in Fraser didn't contravene some school teaching on sex or penises -- it was just (in their view) too gross for 14-yr-olds.

In this case, the petitioners' argument isn't that Harper's message is too gross or too crass or too unreasoned. Their argument is that his message can be punished because it contradicted the message that the school was trying to convey on the same subject.
12.1.2006 11:52pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
I don't have a dog in this fight but out of curiosity has the religious angle been argued? I mean the slant of the slogan isn't very different from the significance of marijuana for Rastifari or peyote for some of the Native American religions. Granted it was just a humorous banner, but who is to judge whether or not the student has a sincere belief in the religious component?
12.2.2006 6:58am
logicnazi (mail) (www):
I don't really see why the status of the banner as reasoned or articulate matters. The policy in question made no distinction between articulate and inarticulate banners so it should be unconstitutional either way? Is the issue that if the student's particular speech could have been banned via some other rule he can't sue? That doesn't seem right since almost any speech can be banned by some content neutral rule (no banners) if they just get to make up new hypothetical rules.

It doesn't seem like it would have been any better had the school decided drug based speech was inappropriate at school related events. Even if we throw out the fact that the school is asking to apply the rule outside of school itself, a position that would let the school effectively control what topics students could talk about at town events by co-sponsoring them, this blatantly lets the school engage in content censorship. I mean does anyone really think the reason the school had the rule on drug speech was only about class discipline and had nothing to do with what they thought about drug use?


More generally it seems that there is just no way to distinguish this sort of message from archetypal protected speech, even in school.

First let us look at the relevant holding in Fraser (from findlaw):


The First Amendment did not prevent the School District from disciplining respondent for giving the offensively lewd and indecent speech at the assembly. Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503 , distinguished. Under the First Amendment, the use of an offensive form of expression may not be prohibited to adults making what the speaker considers a political point, but it does not follow that the same latitude must be permitted to children in a public school. It is a highly appropriate function of public school education to prohibit the use of vulgar and offensive terms in public discourse. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits the states from insisting that certain modes of expression are inappropriate and subject to sanctions. The inculcation of these values is truly the work of the school, and the determination of what manner of speech is inappropriate properly rests with the school board. First Amendment jurisprudence recognizes an interest in protecting minors from exposure to vulgar and offensive spoken language, FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 , as well as limitations on the otherwise absolute interest of the speaker in reaching an unlimited audience where the speech is sexually explicit and the audience may include children, Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 . Petitioner School District acted entirely within its permissible authority in imposing sanctions upon respondent in response to his offensively lewd and indecent speech, which had no claim to First Amendment protection. Pp. 680-686.


Noteably the focus in Fraser is on offensive terms or lewd speech not on offensiveness on it's own. What the holding in Fraser seems designed to do is allow schools to prevent students from delibratly disrupting school by encouraging each other to disobedience and hooting by use of vulgar and suggestive language. It seems totally incorrect to read this ruling as holding that speech that is neither lewd nor uses vulgar terms can be banned merely because it is offensive.

Now in some circumstances the reasoning in Fraser might allow a school to prohibit certain sorts of drug references. For instance if instead of sexual innuendo Fraser had give a speech filled with obvious references to getting stoned that got the audience all rilled up that might qualify. However, it doesn't seem to support a general rule against mention of drugs only one against non-serious or deliberately disruptive uses. After all Fraser did not deny students 1st amendment protection for sexual topics, only for vulgar discussion about them.

As I mentioned above it seems irrelevant whether or not a different policy that called out certain sorts of drug references would have been valid, this one did not. Moreover, the underlying justification for Fraser simply isn't present in this case as the incident didn't happen at school or other educational event so couldn't have disrupted education.

Apart from a standard which punishes students when they clearly make speeches to disrupt the activity I'm skeptical that any restriction the school wants to put on drug references could be constitutional. We all know what vulgar speech is and it is easy to ban Fraser like activity in a manner that doesn't impose any serious barriers against any particular idea.

I mean can anyone think of a reasonable ruling that would allow the school to clamp down on drug speech that wouldn't let them do so on obviously politically protected messages? If mentions of weed and bongs can be banned because they sometimes cause students to snicker it seems really easy for a school who wants to favor an abstinence only message to ban students from speech using the word condom while letting other students use the word abstinence.

I will be very disappointed if SCOTUS doesn't decide for the student.
12.2.2006 7:55am
Daniel Chapman (mail):
I don't know about you, but my high school had a ban on any clothing that dealt with alcohol or tobacco. How does that fit your constitutional analysis, LogicNazi?

Fraser is about the appropriateness of the speech in the school setting. Specifically it dealt with lewd speech, but it is a small step to apply it to drug-related speech.

I'm mildly amused by everyone's analogies to political discourse, by the way. For one thing, unlike condoms, creationism, or the civil war, marijuana is ILLEGAL. It's not just some policy preference that the school is trying to promote. Also, no one has ever claimed that these kids were making a political statement about legalization... if they were, and it was made in a reasoned and disciplined way, then we'd be dealing with Tinker instead of Fraser.

This case is about the school's need to maintain order in a learning environment. If it goes for the kids, it'll be because they were off school grounds and in a setting where a reasonable person wouldn't think the speech was school-sponsored (Hazelwood).
12.2.2006 10:32am
tdsj:
Daniel, I think if you read Ken Starr's brief, you will see that this is (in their view, at least) about more than just "maintaining order." The petitioners explicitly conceded that there was no "evidentiary showing of disruption" in this case. Their argument is about a school's purported right not just to send a message, but also to suppress competing views.

On the petitioners' view, it doesn't make any difference whether this viewpoint was presented in a "reasoned and disciplined" way. What matters is that the message contradicts the school's "drugs are bad" message. Based on the petitioners' argument, even if the kids had made their arguments in the most reasoned and disciplined way possible, the school still had the right to suppress the speech.

They are arguing, in other words, that Tinker just doesn't apply to certain disfavored viewpoints -- including any pro-drug viewpoints. And they are quite explicit about this. See Petitioner's Brief at 14.
12.2.2006 12:10pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
I haven't read the parties' briefs in this matter, and honestly, I won't. Finals start monday, so I'll take your word for it that they're making different arguements than I am. That doesn't mean the Court is restricted to their arguments. I'm just giving you my interpretation of Fraser and Tinker, and explaining why it wouldn't be "inept" of the Court to find in favor of the school.

Is there any way to distinguish Cohen using your arguments? Why couldn't a student wear a "Fuck the Draft" jacket to school? I think you'd be awfully shallow to take that sort of Free Speech stance and then argue that "dirty words aren't allowed," but Fraser (or was this Hazelwood?) clearly limited Tinker to "Tinker's armband, but not Cohen's jacket." Cohen was also a more obvious political statement than "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" so I don't think you can make the argument that the school can't proscribe dissenting political viewpoints.
12.2.2006 12:50pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
I'm mildly amused by everyone's analogies to political discourse, by the way. For one thing, unlike condoms, creationism, or the civil war, marijuana is ILLEGAL. It's not just some policy preference that the school is trying to promote. Also, no one has ever claimed that these kids were making a political statement about legalization... if they were, and it was made in a reasoned and disciplined way, then we'd be dealing with Tinker instead of Fraser.

One could argue that the message behind the slogan was that it should be legalized on religious grounds. (You can only fit so much argument on a banner.) Obviously the statement has a religious component, otherwise Jesus wouldn't be mentioned.
12.2.2006 3:18pm
tdsj:
Daniel,

Yes, the brief presents a different argument than the ones you've made. If the Court accepts something along the line of what you've argued, I'd probably disagree, but I wouldn't worry much about it. If the Court accepts what the petitioners are arguing, I'd be quite concerned.

On "Fuck the Draft"... I'm not totally sure about it. I am a very vulgar person myself, so my view probably isn't representative here.

I think a school might say that vulgarity is disruptive, so we can exclude that form of expression.

In other words, I think maybe a school could punish a kid for wearing a t-shirt that says "Fuck the Drug War." But if they punish a t-shirt that just says "Stop the Drug War," I have a real problem.
12.2.2006 3:55pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
I'd have a problem with that too. Seems closer to the passive protest in Tinker than the "Hey look at me trying to push the envelope" speech in Fraser.

Not that I'd have much of a problem with them letting this banner pass either, but if they make a rule that gives kids too much freedom, they'll be putting the inmates in charge of the asylum.
12.2.2006 4:22pm
fishbane (mail):
Not that I'd have much of a problem with them letting this banner pass either, but if they make a rule that gives kids too much freedom, they'll be putting the inmates in charge of the asylum. (em mine.)

Sorry, but can you reference the case that estabilshes the notion that the age of majority is required before one offers an opinion on policy matters?

Back in the dark ages (mid-to-late 80's), I was offering all sorts of arguments in LD and Policy debate, not to mention mock court and local city council, advocating things that were then illegal. I was also a bit of a troublemaker, what with taping political messages to my locker and handing out printed material that didn't jibe with the school's Official Message.

I don't mean to personalize this; I'm merely offering examples of uppity kid's stuff that, if this argument goes the wrong way, can be legitimately curtailed. Is that the outcome you want?
12.2.2006 6:35pm
fishbane (mail):
I should proably note that I advocated the other side on LD and Policy, as well. and I didn't mention ExTemp. Anyone who has done similar will know how it goes. The point remains.
12.2.2006 6:46pm
Toby:
As a point of reference, I couldn;t help wondering where each poster above stands on McCain-Feingold - you know the one that outlaws political speech in the period running up to an election. It seems to me that there is a pattern of under which those who are absolute on the desire to support juvenile annoying speech also support regulation of politically relevant speech. But I do not know how that lines up in the posters above.

I think it is clear that the kids were revelling in the joy of transgressive speech. Were they making reasoned policy debate? No. Were they mocking a safe establishment figure in a way that would not be tolerated if the religion/culture were not mainstream? Yes.

They were simply acting out in a naughty way. THe school, with a minor punishment that (1) got their parents involved and (2) had little lasting effect was punishing the naughty.

Trying to attach to much to this is a reach.
12.2.2006 6:57pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Actually, both Tinker and Fraser were rather explicit in disclaiming the idea that kids have full free speech rights in the school setting. It's a compromise between the kids' rights and the need to maintain order in the school.

That said, you really haven't read my posts if you think I'm saying kids have no right to "offer an opinion on policy matters." We're talking about teenagers acting like teenagers and a bunch of lawyers coming up with ad hoc rationalizations in order to bail them out. I could come up with some sort of "political expression" rationalization for just about any speech (or action, for that matter) but that doesn't mean the school officials are powerless to control the students. Is that the outcome YOU want? I'd be sending my kids to private school in a heartbeat.

Toby: My opinion (or preference, anyway) is that McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional. Donations are a way for people to pool their speech to reach a wider audience, and political speech should be the most protected of all.
12.2.2006 7:39pm
tdsj:
We're talking about teenagers acting like teenagers and a bunch of lawyers coming up with ad hoc rationalizations in order to bail them out.

Or we're talking about a principal who overreacted to a fairly harmless message that she thought was too subversive, and now she has a bunch of lawyers coming up with ad hoc rationalizations to bail her out.
12.2.2006 8:21pm
tdsj:
Toby, I don't know about McCain-Feingold.

But the core First Amendment ideal is that the government can't engage in viewpoint discrimination. Viewpoint discrimination is worse than mere content discrimination, and it is far worse than mere time, place, and manner restrictions.

This case involves viewpoint discrimination. McCain-Feingold does not.

Of course, if you think that this is merely "annoying juvenile speech" devoid of real political content, then it isn't really viewpoint discrimination. But again (as I've said over and over again) that is not what the petitioners are arguing. They aren't arguing that the banner was meaningless juvenile crap. They concede that it had a message. They say that they can suppress that message because it conflicts with the message that the school wants to teach.

They are arguing for viewpoint discrimination.

As I've said from the beginning, I think it's possible that the school officials should win this case. I don't think that their actions were some great affront to the First Amendment. But their legal arguments are.
12.2.2006 8:39pm
Angus:
One thing to note here is that Alaska has the most lax marijuana laws in the country. Possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana is perfectly legal. So this kid was punished for referencing a legal activity in the state.
12.3.2006 5:03am
Allen Asch (mail) (www):
I love this case! I tried getting discussion started about it in an open thread last March without success. See:

http://volokh.com/posts/1142181102.shtml
12.3.2006 9:22am
Allen Asch (mail) (www):
FYI, here's what I said last March:

The Ninth Circuit opinion itself is in PDF format here:

http://tinyurl.com/mko6w

The heart of the decision is this Q&A:

the question comes down to whether a school may, in the absence of concern about disruption of educational activities, punish and censor non-disruptive, off-campus speech by students during school-authorized activities
because the speech promotes a social message contrary to the one favored by the school. The answer under controlling, long-existing precedent is plainly "No."

Actually, the outcome was really determined further back, in the first few sentences of the analysis, where the court noted:

The district court reasoned that Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser, as opposed to Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, governed Frederick's speech. We disagree.

I was just disappointed the case wasn't decided on religious liberty grounds...

Allen Asch
12.3.2006 9:26am
posterboy:
Daniel says "I'm mildly amused by everyone's analogies to political discourse, by the way. For one thing, unlike condoms, creationism, or the civil war, marijuana is ILLEGAL."

Daniel, what would you think of a banner that said "Marijuana should be legalized"? Keep in mind that all of your examples would be illegal (or were, leading to, as you say, a civil war) depending on who's in charge.
12.3.2006 12:24pm
Toby:

But again (as I've said over and over again) that is not what the petitioners are arguing. They aren't arguing that the banner was meaningless juvenile crap. They concede that it had a message. They say that they can suppress that message because it conflicts with the message that the school wants to teach.


And that's the problem. I remeber people saying when I was young "You don't have to make a federal case out of it." Today, everyone makes a federal case out of everything. Parents want to make constitutional cases out of their brat's misbehavior. The schools, being run by unimaginiative risk-avoiding bureaucrats couch their replies in deep mumbo-jumbo. Soon threads like this break out in court rooms.

One of the lessons I learned early was "Choose when to involve the parents in disputes". Their rule, quite sensibily, was if we decide, everybody loses (has no desert. goes to bed early for the next week. we don't go to the zoo next weekend but stay home and mend barbed wire fences...)

After the first years of turmoil, I learned a variant. This kids would come up with a thousand trifling complaints. I'd look at them and ask, "Are there some problems thatyou want me to be involved in?" Shuffle feet, scratch head, go back outside and no screaming for an hour was the usual result.

Noone takes this stance any more. Instead we get the trivialization of every right, as we get heavier involvement in every trivia.

Free speech becomes maximum regulation of hurt feelings and funny looks, maximum protection of nude dancing and on-stage sex, and minimal regard (somehow) for actual, you know, pilitical speech. Gun rights become arguments over duck hunting and minimal concenr about whether the balance of power between government and citizens is being tipped in the direction of the behemoth.

If you wanted to reduce respect for the important rights, if you wanted to increase public disgust with them, could you come up with a better plan than
- Insist they apply only to marginalia
- gut their moments of power
- convince the populace they exist only to annoy.
After a few years, you'll have the populace convinced that they rights are meaningless.

Not saying that all who do so are deliberately trying to discredit the Bill of Rights with the general populace, but if they were, .... what would they do differently?
12.3.2006 12:57pm
fishbane (mail):
It seems to me that there is a pattern of under which those who are absolute on the desire to support juvenile annoying speech also support regulation of politically relevant speech. But I do not know how that lines up in the posters above.

As far as it goes, I think M/F is a terrible law. Speech is speech, and I'm a bit of an absolutist, in that the remedy for bad speech is more speech. I see no reason why a state body should have the right to curtail it under the umbrella of some sort of approved message to be conveyed to those under the age of majority.

Sure, the banner was immature. So what? Would you also agree with sanctioning an underage person holding a banner stating, "Respectfully, I personally believe that Jesus would approve of the combustion of harmless weeds which are then inhaled,"?
12.3.2006 1:03pm
tdsj:
"And that's the problem. I remeber people saying when I was young "You don't have to make a federal case out of it." Today, everyone makes a federal case out of everything."

Yes, I partly agree with you. It seems like the parties, if they were in their right minds, could have reached some resolution to this problem without litigation.

The school, for its part, could have defended the case on much narrower grounds, focused on the facts of this case. Instead, they have chosen to argue for a very broad and novel legal principle.

Why? I don't know. I suppose they got a big lawyer (Ken Starr) involved, and he wanted to use it as a test case. And part of it might be procedural -- they wanted to win before trial, so they had to rely on a mostly-legal argument rather than a mostly-factual argument.

I also agree with you, more generally, that we should keep in mind what the core rights are, and not let the entire discourse be driven by the fringe, borderline cases. The First Amendment is not predominantly about nude dancing. Maybe that's protected at the margin, but it's pretty far out at the margin.

But the core is the right to express different viewpoints on political and social issues. I think reasonable people can disagree about whether this kid was really making any meaningful statement on a political or social issue. But regardless, what bothers me is the petitioners' argument, which attacks the very core of the First Amendment.
12.3.2006 2:20pm
Jay Myers:
tdsj:

But the core First Amendment ideal is that the government can't engage in viewpoint discrimination. Viewpoint discrimination is worse than mere content discrimination, and it is far worse than mere time, place, and manner restrictions.

The core First Amendment ideal is that the federal government can't engage in viewpoint discrimination. Of the bill of rights only the tenth amendment contains any restrictions upon the power of the states. I defy anyone to come up with a reasonable explanation why cutting and pasting the 5th amendment's due process clause into the 14th amendment would mean that the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments suddenly apply to the states. And regardless of whether they accept federal monies or not, schools are state institutions and education remains a traditional core state interest.

Perhaps what the school district has done constitutes a deprivation of liberty without due process but that is a completely different discussion from what is taking place here.
12.4.2006 2:42am
TomD:
Incorporation doctrine may have some logical flaws, but it's a good enough proxy, considering that the freedom of speech, etc. are, and were expressly intended to fall within, the "privileges and immunities" of citizenship mentioned in the Fourteenth Amendment. Too bad the late-1860s Supreme Court shamefully stripped that phrase of its intended meaning.
12.4.2006 9:18am
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Freedom of Speech is a privilege of citizenship? So a law restricting a noncitizen's freedom of speech would be constitutional?

Where are you getting this from? It's the first time I've heard the idea...
12.4.2006 1:24pm
TomD:
Well, if you've never heard of it then it must not be true...

Kidding. I don't have the hardcover in front of me, but Akhil Amar's recent book "America's Constitution: A Biography" discusses in detail the Congressional record of the debate of the 14th Amendment's framers, many of which explicitly stated that the "privileges and immunities" clause of the 14th was meant to apply the bill of rights to the states.
12.4.2006 6:19pm