Fauntleroy and California


So, I saw this and was naturally reminded of the Supreme Court.

Earlier this year there was a case called Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc.    Texas sells specialty license plates on which people can put a message of their choice. Anyone who likes that message can pay extra to those plates. They are not vanity plates, its more like when states have a slogan like “Live Free or Die”, or “Famous Potatoes”. Its kind of goofy, there are plates sponsored by a fast food chain that say “Mighty Fine Burgers”.  A group of redneck pricks applied to be able to get plates with a confederate flag, and to Texas’ credit they were denied. They appealed on First Amendment free speech grounds and lost, with Justice Thomas voting along with the four liberals. Odd, you say? This is a typical example of people who are hard core conservatives except as to matters that affect themselves. Thomas grew up in Georgia in an era when there was plenty of Klan activity, and he knows that flag to be a terrorist symbol.  Thomas’ vote on this is discussed here. The decision came out right around the time that that other redneck prick shot a bunch of Black people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.

Anyway during oral argument there was this exchange

Full audio at Oyez.

Ginsberg did not pull that reference out of the air. There was a case in 2007 in which a high school kid sued for a violation of his free speech rights after he was suspended for putting up a poster that said, “Bong hits 4 Jesus” across the street from his high school. Morse v. Frederick.  He lost because Kennedy went with the conservatives for the proposition that kids don’t have free speech.

So, had Thomas not flipped, it seems like the Constitution would require that some kids in Texas would not be allowed to drive to school.