Ah, the US Supreme Court–bastion of our judiciary system, and trier of free speech cases aplenty. For instance, that of poor Joseph Frederick (of Juneau, Alaska), whose 2002 decision to greet a visiting Olympic torchbearer with a sign that read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” caused a teacher to suspend him for ten days–Frederick sued, and now the case is at the Supreme Court, drawing interested schools for a discussion of free speech and its limitations.

And where there are potential legal discussions, there are potential Jewish lawyers. For instance, the contingent from the Melvin J. Berman school in Silver Spring, MD:

“I would never do it, but at the same time, it’s free speech,” said Chaim Frenkel, 17, of Silver Spring, Md. Frenkel was one of 13 seniors and their teacher from the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy who arrived at the court at 4:30 a.m. EDT.

That’s the advantage to Jew school in the DC area–proximity to Supreme Court cases.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.


  • It was actually the principal who grabbed the banner, took it down and then suspended Frederick. The original suspension was for 5 days but was doubled when Frederick met with the principal and quoted Thomas Jefferson to him about free speech.

    Another “Jewish” connection to this matter is that one of the lawyers involved is the formerly Jewish Jay Sekulow who was interviewed on NPR about this and said that the Court must rule that putting up such a banner is perfectly legitimate. What, he asked, would happen if this banner was disallowed but the next time the banner read something like “I love Jesus.”

    And of course, another link to Jews is Kenneth Starr, currently dean of Pepperdine’s law school, who is representing the school. Starr, as we all know, tried to bring down a US President using the pretext of a coverup over a series of blow jobs given by a young Jewish woman.

    Oh, and two of the Supreme Court justices are Jewish including the only woman on the Court.

  • I don’t understand something here, the substance the student is referring to is illegal in most US states, in a couple it is decriminalized, that would be different. But since he is posting a sign about something illegal, why is the principal so wrong?

    If he was posting, drink and drive now! would that be ok as well?