Reviews | Supreme Court rulings: NCAA, student speeches and gay parents

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For the publisher:

Re “Justices Rein In Schools’ Power to Limit Speech” (cover page, June 24):

Two observations on this Supreme Court decision. First, I don’t understand why the court agreed to hear the case in the first place. The Supreme Court receives more than 7,000 petitions each year and hears between 100 and 150 cases. Granting a certiorari to hear an appeal when the student’s First Amendment right to turn the bird over and use a vulgar word has been upheld by the lower court of appeal just doesn’t seem to rise to the level of others urgent legal issues. What an extraordinary waste of the Supreme Court’s scarce resources.

Second, while I agree with the ruling, I apologize for the Applicant. Wide publicity can come back to haunt her when she applies for jobs.

His parents have done him a disservice by bringing this lawsuit in the first place. They missed an opportunity to teach him that vulgar words and mean, immature actions have consequences. While the Levys may have won the case, it can come at a great cost to their daughter’s social growth and moral development.

Mary ann lynch
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

For the publisher:

Shock. I agree with Justice Clarence Thomas, who dissented in the case. As soon as a cell phone message appears on the phones of 250 “friends”, many of whom were no doubt in the school building, it becomes a school affair. This is my opinion as a teacher. Maybe the members of the Supreme Court are too old to realize the damage caused by technology.

Emilie Farrell
Media, Pennsylvania

For the publisher:

Re “Two Cheers for a Free Speech Ruling,” by Justin Driver (Opinion guest essay, June 25):

While this is a victory for free speech, it is not a victory for civilized behavior. Brandi Levy’s extremely vulgar temper tantrum in a Snapchat post has no place in civilized society and has no redeeming value like political opinion. She was just allowed to be disgusting, rude, and vulgar because the law protected her.

The fact that her parents didn’t just berate her for her disgusting behavior, apologize and move on says a lot about where our society is today. Civil discourse does not seem to have an important place. We are ready to defend the worst impulses by using the law. And I’m as progressive as they come.

Michael mcelfresh
Livermore, California.

For the publisher:

Re “Court Supports Catholic Agency in Dispute on Gay Foster Parents” (cover page, June 18):

The Supreme Court ruling on a Catholic foster care agency’s refusal to screen same-sex couples for adoption does not end the issue; he just moves the goal post. The court’s decision was based on Philadelphia’s contract with the agency, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation but allows city officials to make exceptions. Following the court’s decision, young people in need of a placement are now systematically denied access to potentially solid and beneficial placements.


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