Update (12/24/2010): Supreme Court will consider case of a cheerleader who refused to cheer for her alleged rapist
A former Texas cheerleader who was kicked off the squad for refusing to cheer for a basketball player who allegedly raped her is taking her case to the Supreme Court, according to her lawyer.
“The cheerleader and her parents are also challenging federal court rulings that found the suit to be frivolous and ordered them to reimburse the district more than $45,000 in legal costs,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Original report continues below…
A former cheerleader did not have the right to refuse to cheer for a man that she claims sexually assaulted her, an appeals court has ruled.
The girl, identified only as H.S. in court documents, claimed that, when she was 16, she was sexually assaulted at a post-game party by two students at Silsbee High School in Beaumont, Texas — Rakheem Bolton and Christian Rountree. The girl said she was assaulted after the two men forced her into a room, locked the door and held her down.
A court declined to indict the men for sexual assault. In September, Bolton pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of Class A Assault. He was sentenced to one year in jail but that sentence was suspended and he will remain free with two years of probation. He was also required to pay a $2,500 fine, complete community service and an anger management course.
Bolton returned to school and the basketball team for a short time before he ultimately pleaded guilty. During that time, school officials ordered H.S. “to cheer for Bolton when the other cheerleaders cheered or go home,” the First Amendment Center reported.
While H.S. performed all of the other routines, she refused to cheer for Bolton. Cheerleading coach Sissy McInnis then dismissed her from the squad.
H.S.’s parents sued the school, claiming her First Amendment rights had been violated. But her claim was denied by a three judge panel that decided, “in her capacity as cheerleader, H.S. served as a mouthpiece through which (the school district) could disseminate speech — namely, support for its athletic teams.”
“I didn’t think it was possible for cheerleading to look any less appealing to me — but, thank you, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, for proving me wrong,” wrote Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory.
Is a strange Twitter glitch censoring the left?
The Working Families Party, a New York-based progressive political party, has a reputation befitting its name as a left-populist political organization. So when the organization endorsed the center-left Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren — who was once a hardcore Republican and has emphasized her capitalist credentials — over the explicitly democratic socialist candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sanders (I-Vt.) supporters were understandably disappointed. After all, the party overwhelmingly endorsed Sanders in the previous presidential election. What had changed?
NYC mayor Bill de Blasio ending his Democratic presidential campaign
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has ended his Democratic presidential campaign.
De Blasio made the announcement Friday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where he explained his decision.
"I feel like I've contributed all I can to this primary election," he said, "and it's clearly not my time."
The mayor said he was optimistic about the Democratic Party's chances in the 2020 election, no matter who was nominated to face President Donald Trump.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe darkly warns why Rudy Giuliani’s ‘lies and gibberish’ are no laughing matter
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough laughed uproariously at Rudy Giuliani's careening denials and admissions to possible crimes involving Ukraine, and then darkly noted that his bizarre "gibberish" was straight out of the authoritarian handbook.
"Morning Joe" panelists cracked up at President Donald Trump's attorney angrily denying that he sought election help from Ukraine's government, only to even more angrily justify his reasons for doing what he had just denied.
"When it is going south you put gibberish on the air not to confuse people," said panelist Donny Deutsch, "all of a sudden it's just this noise that's not as distracting that makes you lightheaded."