Starr is taking this case pro bono – against a high school student who displayed an “offensive” banner OFF CAMPUS.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Former Whitewater special counsel Kenneth Starr petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Alaska’s “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case, a dispute involving a high school student, a banner and a tough school policy.
Starr, who gained national prominence while investigating former President Clinton’s Whitewater land deal and relationship with Monica Lewinsky, filed the petition Monday on behalf of the Juneau School District in response to a March ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The appeals court sided with a high school student who displayed a banner reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” during an Olympic torch relay in 2002. It ruled former Juneau-Douglas High School principal Deborah Morse violated former student Joseph Frederick’s free speech rights.
The U.S. Supreme Court petition must receive a minimum of four of the nine justices’ votes to be heard.
Frederick, then a senior, was off school property when he hoisted the banner but was suspended for violating the school’s policy of promoting illegal substances at a school-sanctioned event.
“The principal’s actions were so outrageous, basically leaving school grounds and punishing a student for a message that is not damaging to the school,” said his attorney, Doug Mertz.