Just a quick something to talk about, if you’re interested…

The rest of my week is pretty packed, but since I posted this on Twitter earlier, I’ll post it here, in case anyone is interested in discussing. It occurs to me this is a quick-and-dirty way to set up a discussion about something in the news today. If it works, I’ll do this more often. If not, you’ll have to wait until I actually have time to comment on something:

49 thoughts on “Just a quick something to talk about, if you’re interested…

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Oh, and here’s a lighter, fun one:

    I later added, by replying to my own retweet, “So is The Gullible. But I wouldn’t have Luke be any other way…”

    Heroes should be polite and deferential. Especially knights — Jedi and otherwise…

  2. Pat

    I don’t agree with this decision. I don’t even think SCOTUS should have taken this one up. Most of these high school organizations have a code of conduct that members must agree to in order to become a member. Her comments were bratty and vulgar.

  3. Mark Stewart

    What did she do wrong? Inappropriate, sure, but wrong?

    Nah, children are not chattel of schools; if not on the property it is their own life, and not the schools concern.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      You know what? I’m mostly concerned here about her parents, who looked at what their daughter had done, and thoroughly supported her obscene, childish outburst, all the way to wasting the time of the Supreme Court.

      This is disgusting. What they should have done was say to their daughter, “You absolutely should not have done that, and now you should learn from the experience.” Instead, she has learned that she can do anything she damn’ well pleases, and to hell with everybody.

      Many decades ago, MAD magazine did a feature that imagined the court dealing with stupid, petty crap that should be far beneath its notice. I remember one of them being a baseball manager and umpire standing before the justices and yelling something like, “He’s OUT!,” “No, he’s SAFE!” at each other.

      It was humorous at the time. Now the highest court in the land concerns itself with things at that level.

      And as petty as it is, it is most assuredly wrong for a child to publish something — worldwide — in which she is saying a big FUCK YOU to the authorities at her school, people who (in any civilized society) she should be taught to obey and respect. Period.

      1. Ken

        A “damn” a “hell” and bigole f-bomb all in a single post. Positively gives me the vapors!!

        In the 2020 election, 75 mil. people shouted a loud f-you at the rest of the country. That bothers me a lot more than somebody’s coarse language online. As regrettable as it may be, that train has long left the station. “F—” has now been mainstreamed.

      2. bud

        I guess the civility rules don’t apply to the host.

        Free speech is not absolute but it should be pretty broad. The SCOTUS got this one right.

      3. Bryan Caskey

        “I’m mostly concerned here about her parents, who looked at what their daughter had done, and thoroughly supported her obscene, childish outburst, all the way to wasting the time of the Supreme Court.”

        Just a small point here that you probably aren’t aware of: The family sued the school in federal district court (you can think of this as the “trial court”). The family won. The School then appealed the decision. That appeal went to the third circuit court of appeals. The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court and affirmed. So the school then appealed again…this time up to SCOTUS. Which again affirmed the original ruling of the trial court.

        The school appealed this all the way up and lost each time. Just for some clarity on who was driving all these appeals…

        I make no comment on the merits of the case other than to say that free speech isn’t always pretty or popular.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Thanks, Brian, but that does not change what I’m saying. I realize plaintiffs don’t have the power to go straight to the Supreme Court. My point is that there was a lawsuit at all. That, and the fact that whatever grounds upon which the decision was made, the takeaway for this girl is that she was right all along.

          As I said from the outside, I have no argument with the court. My complaint is that grown-ups are wasting time on this. The role of grown-ups should be to tell children not to do this sort of thing. And the role of children should be to obey.

          1. Bryan Caskey

            Certainly, conduct can be legal and not praiseworthy. To put it another way, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you necessarily should.

            Having said that, I wouldn’t have banned her from cheerleading for an entire year as the school did. While her particular outburst was in poor taste (I would be extremely embarrassed if I was her father) I don’t think the one year punishment was a proportional response.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I wouldn’t have banned her for a year, either. But the school deciding to do that was in no way a harm done to the child that needed to be redressed via our justice system. Lots of kids didn’t get to be on the cheerleading team that year, and they didn’t do anything wrong at all. They just didn’t make the team. Being on the cheerleading team, or participating in other extracurricular activities, is a privilege, not a right. It was a gift to her, not anything she was entitled to. There is no place in this situation for a lawsuit.

              1. Mark Stewart

                Brad, I think you missed the point of this case.

                I just wrote a longer, possibly insightful reply about the case, and then somehow my comment vanished from the comment box as I was finishing up. Now I have other things to do so here’s the skinny version.

                Here is an alternate explanation of why the court took this case: The school district continued to appeal because they believed that their student contracts gave them absolute control of the students 24/7, effectively treating them as chattel to be punished on a whim. This has been a growing dynamic in schools for decades, and I think the court wanted to make clear that there were issues regarding rights which are problematic – even for kids. On a wider basis, this is a rejection of unfettered institutional voiding of basic Constitutional rights.

                This case is going to make an interesting precedent for the future, despite its small, coarse impression now. I don’t know if you’ve been following the Brittney Spears saga, I’m going to guess not just with the name and pop culture viewpoint, but her situation raises compelling issues of human rights in an arena we have let fester far too long – the rights of the disabled and the existence of “conservatorship” status.

                Anyway, that’s an alternate take for your consideration beyond f-bombs and “brattiness.”

                1. Ken

                  The Supreme Court in its new conservative iteration grants freedoms on the margins, as in the cheerleader case, but puts major limits on them in other ways – as shown by the ruling undermining union organizing of agricultural workers, previously referenced, and in today’s decision on Arizona’s voting laws, further undermining Voting Rights Act protections of free and fair election access. First they bit off Section 5, now they’re whittling away at Section 2.

                  1. Bryan Caskey

                    As I read Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, a state ban on:

                    a: voting in the wrong precinct; and
                    b: ballot harvesting (collecting and deliver another person’s ballot (with exceptions for family members, caregivers, mail carriers and election officials))

                    are both not an undue burden on the right to vote, taking into account the state’s interest in having an orderly election. What are your major concerns about this decision?

                    1. Barry

                      “ voting in the wrong precinct”

                      Given that some states and counties have been known to change precincts at the last minute ( has happened to be twice in 16 years)

                      It will be interesting to see how states use this tool, especially in underrepresented or minority areas.

                      It will also be interesting to see if blue states utilize this tool in areas of the state that tend to vote more red.

                      Sounds like this will be worth trying.

                    2. Barry

                      Also of note

                      “Arizona Republicans stripped Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office of the right to defend or challenge the state’s election laws in court — a law they stipulate only applies through Jan. 2, 2023, the end of her term.”

                      Arizona Republicans have turned that duty over to the GOP Attorney General, until the end of the current Secretary of State’s term.

                      Secretary Hobbs has been one of the very few officials in Arizona Government to deny the election was stolen from Mr. Trump.

                    3. Ken

                      It was adequately demonstrated that the limitations the Supreme Court’s conservative majority approved have a disporportionate impact on poor and minority communities. What constitutes clear discrimination for some is nothing more than an “inconvenience” for these complacent conservatives.

                      I’d also note that the five factors or tests that the conservatives invented in making their determination are not in the Act and therefore constitute nothing less than the very sort oflegislating from the bench that conservatives have always accused liberal courts of.

                    4. Bryan Caskey

                      SCOTUS makes factors and tests all the time. It’s guideposts for what lower courts should do in following the precedent. That’s not “legislating from the bench”.

                    5. Barry

                      The Secretary of State in Arizona has had principle responsibility with regards to elections under their law.

                      Trump’s loss, of course, caused the GOP to change the law because the Sec. of State had indicated there was no need to challenge the election in court given the numerous recounts that confirmed the vote, and legal certification of the election.

                      “Republicans adopted language stating it’s their intent for the law to apply through Jan. 2, 2023, coinciding with the end of Democrat Katie Hobbs’ term as secretary of state.”

                      Then it reverts back to the Sec of State- unless that person is a Democrat which the GOP has indicated they can pass another law removing oversight from a Democratic Secretary of State.

                      “Arizona Republicans have stripped the secretary of state’s office — currently held by a Democrat — of the right to defend the state’s election laws in court, or choose not to, a change enacted as part of Arizona’s newly signed budget.”

                      “Under Arizona law, the elected Secretary of State was the top elections official in the state”

                    6. Barry

                      “Guardian analysis finds that places where black and Latino population is growing by the largest numbers experienced the majority of closures and could benefit Republicans”

                      “On a local level, the changes can be stark. McLennan county, home to Waco, Texas, closed 44% of its polling places from 2012 to 2018, despite the fact that its population grew by more than 15,000 people during the same time period, with more than two-thirds of that growth coming from Black and Latinx residents.”


                      Wisconsin Republicans passed laws making student identification cards more difficult to use as IDs for voting purposes, even though the Republican legislature was unable to point to a single instance of college ID based voter fraud.


                      in 2018, Texas tried to limit a polling place at Praire View A&M, a predominately african american university, by cutting the hours it was allowed to stay open, while allowing polling places in predominately white areas to stay open longer.


                    7. Barry

                      Ken wrote

                      “I’d also note that the five factors or tests that the conservatives invented in making their determination are not in the Act and therefore constitute nothing less than the very sort of legislating from the bench that conservatives have always accused liberal courts of.”

                      Conservatives have no issue overturning legislation passed by elected representatives- if they disagree with the legislation.

                      Conservatives can be just as “activist from the bench” as anyone else.

                      That’s not to say they always are – and neither are liberals.

                    8. Barry

                      “The Secretary of State in Arizona has had principle responsibility with regards to elections under their law”

                      Edit- principal

                      not principle. goodness.

                    9. Ken

                      As Justice Kagan points out in the minority opinion, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act provides guidance in how to determine compliance. But the majority, in its zeal, chooses to largely ignore that and instead crafts (read: invents) its own tests that don’t give proper due to the Act. As Kagan puts it: “The majority instead founds its decision on a list of mostly made-up factors, at odds with Section 2 itself.” And later adds: “Think of the majority’s list as a set of extra-textual restrictions on Section 2—methods of counteracting the law Congress actually drafted to achieve the purposes Congress thought ‘important.’” She continues from there to examine each “factor” and shows its flaws with respect to what Section 2 says and intends. So much for textualism and judicial restraint and all those other nostrums that conservatives have been hawking to true believers and the credulous for decades. These conservatives are ready to ride roughshod not only over court precedent but enacted law as well in order to achieve the outcomes they seek.

                  2. Bryan Caskey

                    What is likely to backfire is the DOJ challenge to the Georgia voting laws that all the Democrats have been calling “Jim Crow 2.0”. When those laws are found to be perfectly constitutional, it will then have the imprimatur of the federal judiciary. The only way Democrats can continue to maintain their logical consistency is to call the Supreme Court racist…which is probably what they’ll likely do.

                    1. Mark Stewart

                      Any judiciary which holds it illegal to give out water to voters standing in (long) lines has committed a serious self-inflicted blow to its own legitimacy.

                      Parts of the Georgia law were absolutely gratuitous malevolence. It is a bright red tell as to the law’s intention – and that’s a problem for us all. No court should back that kind of partisanship. But that was true about gerrymandering; so the question is really which partisan ruling is going to be the bridge too far that torpedoes the court’s reputation for a generation or more?

                    2. Bryan Caskey

                      Perhaps, but that’s not in the law, nor did the court say water is prohibited.

                      You’re misinformed.

                      Political lobbying groups can’t give out things in certain locations. For instance, the NRA couldn’t hand out NRA labeled water to you as you are next in line to vote.

                    3. Bryan Caskey

                      Perhaps. However, that’s not either this law or the holding of the court.

                      You’re misinformed.

                      The law (much as other laws do) prohibit lobbying groups from giving out things in particular places. For instance, the NRA can’t hand you an NRA labeled water bottle when you are next in line to vote.

                    4. Mark Stewart

                      Three examples: A provision in SB 202 allows a voter to make unlimited challenges to another voter’s qualifications to cast a ballot. Leading up to the 2020 election runoffs, True the Vote, a conservative group, challenged the eligibility of 360,000 voters, but courts blocked the effort. Mayhem shall ensure in 2022…

                      Also, runoff elections do not require any weekend voting days. That’s clearly a GOP skew.

                      Third, early voting now effectively ends 12 days before the election. However, this seems like it could be troublesome for wanna be voters across the spectrum if they find their situation has changed.

                      Overall, the law isn’t as bad as I assumed it was; it does seem to make some positive changes, but the clear tone of all of this is a specific kind of vote suppression. I’m all for clean elections and whenever they are not, it is problematic for us all. One change which I did not know and think is a smart move is the change from signature confirmation to voter ID confirmation – which may include just the last four digits of someone’s social security number. I think that’s a very fair compromise on the identification requirement. Also gets out of the very subjective signature “matching” game.

                      The most punitative changes seem to be the elimination of all Sunday voting and that there be one drop off box per county, which must be inside a voting precinct or election office and only accessible during early voting hours. These seem targeted without question, though I’m still not clear about how mail-in ballots are handled.

              2. Mark Stewart

                Also, is there anyway out of Moderator review? Or did I egregiously violate the blog campus conduct agreement and earn an SDII?

                1. Bryan Caskey

                  Nah, Brad’s at the beach. I’ll moderate all the backlog comments tonight (after dinner) and maybe even put up a fresh post.

  4. Barry

    Several groups are already selling shirts in celebration of this verdict with the offensive F word proudly prominent on the shirt.

    You can purchase one for a small sum

  5. Ken

    Don’t approve of the young woman’s language. But the court, I believe, drew the right balance with respect to a school’s power to oversee behavior that does not occur on school property, using school equipment or during school-related activities off campus. Some disciplining measures should be left up to others, like parents.

    The court majority got it very wrong on the other case ruling handed down yesterday: on union activities. As the dissenters noted, there is no stretching of the term “taking” that accommodates barring union organizers from merely entering farm property for limited periods of time during non-working hours for the purpose of advising farm workers of their right to organize. The conservative court majority is acting in line with a long-held conservative goal: to reverse policies and programs that grew out of the New Deal, more specifically a union’s right to organize.

    1. Ken

      To add: It’s indicative of the slant of this blog that of the two decisions the one of lesser importance was highlighted.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Oh, give me a freaking break. I wasn’t giving you a review of the day’s news, or of the court’s actions. I was simply taking a moment to share something I had seen, and how I’d reacted to it.

        Being far too busy to review everything the way I usually do, I learned about the other thing from your comment.

        If you don’t like it, we can do one of two things: I can avoid posting (which I assure you is what will happen until I’m caught up with the mountain of work and personal stuff I’m dealing with), or you can just not read what I post (which might make you happiest).

        Seriously, people, can’t we just enjoy ourselves here engaging in civil, friendly discussion of the issues without all the reflections on each other’s characters? He asks for the millionth time…

    2. Barry

      Most people don’t care about her language.

      I attend nearly every home football game at my local high school. I hear F U two dozen times before halftime yelled out at every game- by students. No one blinks an eye.

  6. Barry

    This was a waste of time by the school. They should have ignored it. The girl wasn’t even on the team.

    Curse words by students (and faculty) is so common at high schools now to get upset over it is silly.

    I mean have they not heard their own high school football coaches cursing at students?

  7. Scout

    I think I disagree with the court’s decision here. I respect the conclusion that things that happen off of school grounds and not on school time are not governable by the school – however the child’s decision to broadcast the comment on social media completely changed that dynamic. She made her speech accessible to the student population during school hours, where it could be just as disruptive as if she had said it on campus in person. It could potentially have a completely different reach and impact as compared to an off hand comment in private to a small group of friends that was not published on social media.

  8. Norm Ivey

    The kid acted like a brat. No question, and the parents supported her brattiness. (We assume. Perhaps they delivered their own consequences, but still believed the district went too far.) But being a brat is a form of protected expression. The school, an instrument of the state, punished her for expressing her feelings off campus in a non-school forum. It was a minor offense insofar as to how it affected the school environment. They grossly overstepped. Explain the inappropriateness of the behavior and move on.

    1. Barry

      On the POTUS channel on Sirius radio, Michael Smerconish interviewed the girl and her dad several months ago on the day the arguments were made before the court.

      The dad said he was disappointed that his daughter used that language but he chalked it up to an angry teen. Michael asked him something like “I know I would have been very upset if one of my children acted out in that manner, so I assume there was some punishment at home? ”

      The dad said there was but didn’t describe it. After the interview, Michael commented that the dad didn’t seem to be as upset as most parents would if their children used those words.

      Michael also interview the girl. She was a tough interview. She was a “yes” or “no” type person. She didn’t go into much detail. I got the sense she was extremely nervous to be doing the interview. Michael was very nice to her but he was having to drag responses out of her and he commented on that after the interview.

      His view was she was “coached well” not to say much or that she was just a typical young 20 something not really use to doing interviews. She did mention she regretted using those words but admitted she was angry at the time.

      She also said that some cheer team members were quick to tell on her at the time- -some standing with her- and some against her.

  9. Barry


    are you ok?

    Comments awaiting moderation for over a week?

    Are there certain posters that don’t have to be moderated?

    Just wondering.

Comments are closed.