U.S. Supreme Court Justices Invoke Taylor Swift Case


Taylor Swift was cited by three Justices this week during a hearing at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Two students allege that Georgia Gwinnett College violated their First Amendment rights by enforcing a “speech code” restricting them from speaking publicly about their Christian faith on school property. The college revised the policy to allow free speech on campus, so a trial judge and an appeals court ruled the case was moot.

The plaintiffs want the Supreme Court to give them the right to seek nominal damages as an acknowledgement that their rights were violated.

According to The New York Times, Justice Elena Kagan reflected on Swift’s 2017 case against radio host David Mueller, who she accused of groping her at a meet-and-greet four years earlier. The pop star sought, and won, a symbolic $1.

Kagan called Swift’s case “the most famous nominal damages case I know of in recent times.”

She recalled: “It was unquestionable physical harm, but she just asked for this one dollar to say that she had been harmed. Why not?”

Justice Amy Coney Barrett weighed in. “What Taylor Swift wanted was, you know, vindication of the moral right, the legal right, that sexual assault is reprehensible and wrong,” she said.

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch argued that the court should not penalize plaintiffs “like Ms. Swift who have some scruple or reason not to seek more.”

A decision is expected by late June.

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