The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has announced that it will rehear arguments over whether the Easton Area School District can legally ban breast-cancer awareness bracelets engraved with the phrase “I [Heart] Boobies.” It will hear arguments en banc. 

This is an unusual move for the court and could indicate that it sees the case as potentially significant.

Burt Rublin, an appellate attorney at Ballard Spahr unaffiliated with the case, explained that the judges circulate their opinions around the court. After reading the opinions, the judges decide to hear a case en banc if a majority of active judges vote to hear the case.

He pointed out that it was clear that the case raised controversial constitutional questions centered on the First Amendment. Proponents of the bands say the phrase is harmless and is only meant to raise awareness. The school district says allowing these bands could lead to more vulgar phrases.

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