The arrival of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at Syracuse University was met with eager students, cynical professors, and a drum corps "playing a snappy marching beat." Roberts was on campus as keynote speaker for the dedication of a communications school building, and his speech focused on the judicial branch's role in upholding the First Amendment.
The irony of Roberts speaking at an event honoring free speech was not lost on all. Posters and shirts declaring "Bong hits 4 Jesus"—referencing the March 2007 Supreme Court case that said high schools can restrict student speech in some situations—dotted the campus. The small handful of grouchy professors and rabble-rousing students were left scratching their heads as the school's "Year of the First Amendment" kicked off. "My guess is he was invited before they knew what his decision was going to be. You can't just disinvite him," said Prof. Larry Wolf. "That's restricting free speech, too."