SCOTUS to Hear Mahanoy Cheerleader Free Speech Case Today
On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court will hear the case of Mahanoy Area School District v. BL.
Judicial experts are calling it the most consequential student free speech case in at least a decade. And it all started one afternoon in Mahanoy City when a frustrated freshman cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School found out she didn’t make the varsity squad for her sophomore year.
She, listed as BL in the case before the Supreme Court and now identified as Brandi Levy, opened up her Snapchat app and unloaded on the decision. Her message read: “F*** school F*** softball F*** cheer F*** everything”.
The message found its way in front of the eyes of the school’s cheerleading coach, who suspended Levy from the cheerleading team for the year.
The Levy family decided to fight back and sued Mahanoy Area School District. And they won. In fact, they’ve won in every lower court possible leading up to today’s arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States.
That’s because Mahanoy Area is fighting all those lower court decisions. School officials believe they should have the right to police a student’s social media activity as it relates to school activities.
The Levys argue that Mahanoy Area has no right to monitor or react to comments made on social media, especially off school grounds.
Oral arguments before the Supreme Court justices begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Arguing on behalf of Mahanoy Area will be Lisa Schiavo Blatt, of the law firm of Williams & Connolly LLP, Washington DC. The Levy will be represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and attorney David Cole
— David Cole (@DavidColeACLU) April 26, 2021
The oral arguments will air live on C-SPAN at 10 a.m. We’ll post a link to view it live right here on The Canary closer to the court time.
We also have a conversation lined up with the Levys Wednesday evening to get their reaction to today’s proceedings before the Supreme Court.
ACLU told The Canary on Tuesday that it doesn’t expect a ruling from the justices until probably late-June.
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