Today, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Nurre v. Whitehead, a 9th Circuit case I wrote about here. That case held that a school orchestra was prohibited from challenging a school administrator’s censorship of certain songs at graduation. The students had chosen to play Biebl’s Ave Maria. The school district, however, thought that the instrumental song was overtly religious and did not allow the orchestra to play it.

The Supreme Court’s denial was accompanied by a strong dissent from Justice Alito, who summed up the issues rather well. The 9th Circuit’s decision may in fact have sweeping effects as he predicts. Whether it does or not, the decision was a stain on an already soiled First Amendment jurisprudence in this country. We can only hope that a similar case arises in the coming years for the Court to visit the issue again.


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