The entire Third Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the "I Heart Boobies" case in which two Easton Area Middle School students were suspended for wearing the bracelets for breast cancer awareness. The court will sit "en banc" -- which means all the active judges on the Third Circuit bench will hear it, according to the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
The American Civil Liberties Union initally sued the Easton school district in federal court in November 2010 on behalf of students Brianna Hawk and Kayla Martinez, who were suspended for wearing the bracelets from the Keep A Breast Foundation. The district argued the bracelets were inappropriate and could be disruptive. The students testified they only meant to raise awareness of breast cancer.
Federal District Court granted the ACLU and the girls a preliminary injunction in April 2011, ruling the bracelets were not lewd or vulgar. The school district appealed and both sides argued before a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit in April of this year. "Since then we've been awaiting a ruling, but instead got this news," said a statement on the ACLU's web site.
"Today's news means that more than half of the Third Circuit judges believe this case warrants an en banc hearing," the statement said. "As we see it, that's a good thing."