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Biden Administration Urges Supreme Court to Allow Schools to Censor Student Expression Online

The Biden administration and a Pennsylvania school district urged a skeptical Supreme Court this morning to let school districts suppress free speech by students on social media if they deem it potentially disruptive to school operations.

The case, Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., court file 20-255, was heard April 28.

The Biden administration was represented in the 112-minute telephonic hearing by Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart.

The petitioner, the school district in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, was represented by Lisa S. Blatt. The student involved in the case, known in court documents as B.L., was represented by David D. Cole, who is the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. B.L., or Brandi Levy, was a minor at the time the lawsuit was initiated and legal files reduced her name to initials to protect her identity.

In 2017, when Levy was 14 and a freshman, she made the Mahanoy Area High School junior varsity cheerleading team, but as a sophomore she failed to advance to the varsity squad, remaining junior varsity, according to the district’s petition.