Saturday, March 21, 2009

9th Circuit: School May Cut Off Proselytizing Graduation Speech

In McComb v. Crehan, (9th Cir., March 20, 2009), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the action of Clark County, Nevada school officials in cutting off the microphone at high school graduation ceremonies when the class valedictorian departed from her approved speech and began reading from a version that contained religious and Biblical references. The incident took place in 2006. (See prior posting.) In yesterday's decision, Judge Kozinski's brief opinion for the court said in part:
Defendants did not violate McComb’s free speech and free exercise rights by preventing her from making a proselytizing graduation speech. Cole v. Oroville Union High School District, 228 F.3d 1092, 1101 (9th Cir. 2000); Lassonde v. Pleasanton Unified School District, 320 F.3d 979, 983 (9th Cir. 2003). Nor did they violate McComb’s right to equal protection; they did not allow other graduation speakers to proselytize.
[Thanks to Rob Luther for the lead.]