'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Case to Return to Court in September

The "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case isn't quite over.

Juneau attorney Doug Mertz told the Juneau Empire that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the case in September.

Mertz represents Joseph Frederick, the former Juneau-Douglas High School student who displayed the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner during an Olympic torch relay.

The school suspended Frederick for the banner display, sparking a free speech debate.

Click here to read the case information (FindLaw pdf)

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision last year that favored the school district and upheld its decision to reprimand Frederick.

Mertz says the Supreme Court ruling had not addressed whether Alaska's free speech provisions protected Frederick's actions and whether the banner constituted a legitimate political or social protest rather than a pro-drug declaration.

Superintendent Peggy Cowan says the school district is planning its arguments.

Click here to read the opinion on Morse v. Frederick (FindLaw pdf)