From a Salon Premium piece today, arguing that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy should recuse himself from the case on mandatory school drug testing:

Before the court was a school district's regulation requiring drug tests of students involved in any extracurricular activity. Although there was no reason to suspect that the plaintiff, Lindsay Earls, had ever used drugs, she was called out of choir and tested -- specifically, ordered to urinate under a teacher's supervision. Earls passed, but brought suit against what she believes was an invasion of privacy and an unconstitutional search.

"Most surprising," said the New York Times, "was Justice Kennedy's implied slur on the plaintiffs." The justice imagined a school district with a "drug testing school" and a "druggie school," and told the lawyer representing the Earls family that no parent would send a child to the druggie school "except maybe your client." This was remarkable in two ways. First, it was indeed a slur: Lindsay Earls had passed the drug test, and her cause was not drugs but the Fourth Amendment. Second, the very irrationality of Kennedy's remarks, coupled with his demeanor -- the Boston Globe described him as red with emotion as he launched his "bitter verbal attack" -- betrayed an uncontainable anger toward a litigant that is entirely absent from Supreme Court arguments on even the most heinous murder cases.

Evidently Kennedy's fixated on the perceived moral failings of high school students right now. According to a recent article on, he was disappointed by the "lack of moral outrage" of some Muslim students following the 9/11 attacks on the United States. He also disliked hearing that other kids (presumably non-Muslim) thought the 9/11 attacks were payback for some very bad U.S. policies abroad. Therefore, he's created an American Bar Association-sponsored program, in partnership with First Lady Laura Bush (so much for separation of powers), to teach kids about "fundamental values and universal moral precepts." The program sends lawyers and judges to high schools to talk about "core democratic values" in light of the terrorist attacks.

Yet if there are high school students who can see the connection between 9/11 and US support of oppressive regimes abroad, thankfully, there will be high school students who can recognize a pompous, belligerent, propagandizing hypocrite when they see one. Should they should listen to a member of the 5-person Supreme Court majority that installed a president by judicial fiat on the subject of "democracy"? Should they take the advice of a man who insults kids--in a red, slobbering rage--when they actually stand up for their rights? Perhaps, when he comes to their schools, they'll stand up again and say that maybe their "problem" isn't so much a lack of moral values as disagreement with his.

- tom moody 4-22-2002 6:33 pm

heres a short kennedy bio and a quick reference guide for all past and present members of the supreme court. heres another resource page. interesting to note that there have been only 16 supreme court justices in our 200+ years. also, clarence thomas replacing thurgood marshall was a bad joke. and youll be happy to recall that kennedy was a concilliatory selection after bork and douglas ginsburg. the court could be that much more conservative. it says something that the court is made up of three conservatives in renquist, thomas and scalia; two reagan republicans in kennedy and o'connor (the fab five of bush v. gore); two moderate republicans in stevens and souter; and two moderate to liberal democrats in ginsburg and breyer, who were both clinton appointees. all the rest were republican appointees. oh yeah, looks like the drug war has been one of kennedys crusades from long ago. probably what endeared him to ron and nancy (no relation to sid and nancy; which begs the question does anybody care about another sex pistols reunion and where can i download sexpistols ringtones for my cellphony?).

but enough about justice kennedy, how about some justice for RFK?
- dave 4-22-2002 9:53 pm

The bio you posted must have been written before Bush vs Gore, which made the following statement laughable: "...Justice Anthony Kennedy, though usually a solid conservative vote, is committed to preserving the Supreme Court's image and legitimacy through preserving case precedent." Obviously, his desire to install a President as interested as he is in patting down the young prevailed over his concern for the court's image. Now, thanks to this "moderate conservative" who basically cast the swing vote in that case, kids will grow up thinking the Supreme Court is part of the Executive Branch.
- tom moody 4-23-2002 5:16 pm

i was going to say that i hope they even know what the executive branch is. apparently, the supreme court is troublesome as well.

Who are they:

% Responding Correctly (Open-Ended, Multiple Responses Accepted)

Rice Krispies Characters:
SNAP 66%
POP 66%

US Supreme Court Justices:

- dave 4-25-2002 5:27 pm

i would have guessed "snap" to poll better than "crackle."
- dave 4-25-2002 5:42 pm

Just for clarification for the link-averse, that poll's not just of kids--it's 800 random idiots of all ages. Here's how idiotic I am: I didn't know Kelloggs still used those characters.
- tom moody 4-25-2002 7:31 pm

Not only does Kelloggs still use them, they've been updated for the hip hop generation.


Thus I too am dismayed that "snap" didn't score the highest.
- jim 4-25-2002 8:13 pm

dont be too concerned, its a statistically insignificant difference. there was just one dude who for some reason could only come up with "crackle" or he was just too embarrassed to admit he knew all three. "uhh..snap..and uh..craaackle...and spock?"
- dave 4-25-2002 8:39 pm

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