As reported earlier this week, Waxahachie (TX) High suspended student Pete Palmer last September for refusing to remove an "Edwards '08" t-shirt. (Did they want him to go to class half-naked?) According to the school, the shirt violated the Student Code of Conduct. The Palmer sued with help from the Liberty Legal Institute, a conservative foundation with the mission of "protecting religious freedoms and First Amendment rights." Why LLI and not, say, the ACLU? Pete's father has the story:
"I was solicited by this admittedly right wing group because this case is so clear cut [that] a ruling in it will help their other cases, which mostly involve religious speech in school. This is one of those instances where the libertarian instincts of the left intersect with the anti-government instincts of more or less honest conservatives. This group was the best fit because they were most focused on this issue and wanted to make this case the centerpiece of their legal efforts. Politically, it allows us to show the court (and potentially the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals) a broad spectrum of support -- a Bush official who clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor linked with a Libertarian-esque organization, two other big firm attorneys, and a lefty legal aid attorney. The ACLU was much less focused, has a lot of irons in the fire all across the state on a variety of issues, had fewer quality outside attorneys who were willing to aid them, and, frankly, pissed me off when I spoke to their legal committee. As an organization in Texas they are weak, underfunded, poorly managed, and have no established agenda."
A little background on Waxahachie High: "Waxahachie High also got some bad publicity 2 years ago for the Honor Society picture in the year book. Instead of finding out the name of an African-American girl they didn't know, the staff just listed her as 'Black Girl.' When the yearbook came out and she complained, folks just about pooped themselves trying to explain it away. For me it came down to this - why is the school so segregated that in a class of only about 300 the yearbook staff didn't know the name of one of the honors students? I told Pete that since Edwards was out, he needed to get an Obama shirt to wear, but he should just get one with a picture of Obama and the caption 'I Support Black Candidate.'"
Finally, guess what good ol' Waxahachie High's mascot is (hint above)? Of course: The Indians.