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Wed Mar 11, 2015, 10:32 AM

Why expelled Oklahoma frat boys would have an ‘excellent chance’ in court

Why expelled Oklahoma frat boys would have an ‘excellent chance’ in court

Morning Mix

By Terrence McCoy March 11 at 4:39 AM
@terrence_mccoy

University of Oklahoma President David Boren has since severed ties to the powerful national fraternity, expelling two students he said “played a leadership role” in the racist chant. ... But the expulsions immediately struck constitutional law experts such as professor Eugene Volokh, of the University of California at Los Angeles and the Volokh Conspiracy blog, as strange. Did the University of Oklahoma, a public institution, just punish speech that, while clearly abhorrent, was protected under the First Amendment? Was this a violation of the Constitution?

Private institutions — like Sigma Alpha Epsilon — can freely punish speech that breaches their codes or standards. But a public institution such as the University of Oklahoma, which takes public money, operates as an arm of the government under the law. “So, in effect, it’s not a university punishing a student for a racist video or social media post, it is the state itself acting against an individual — a person, importantly, with all the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment,” wrote the University of West Alabama’s Will Nevin on AL.com.
....

There is, however, some precedent for such a situation, albeit not one that’s binding in Oklahoma. In the early 1990s, Sigma Chi sued George Mason University in Virginia, challenging what it perceived as an infringement on its civil liberties. This case, cited by some legal scholars on Tuesday, would perhaps bolster any claim that the expelled students or fraternity may consider in the coming days.
....

But, {a court} said, that desire couldn’t infringe upon rights bestowed by the Constitution. “The University certainly has a substantial interest in maintaining an educational environment free of discrimination and racism. … On the other hand, a public university has many constitutionally permissible means to protect female and minority students. … The First Amendment forbids the government from ‘restrict[ing] expression because of its message [or] its ideas.”

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why expelled Oklahoma frat boys would have an ‘excellent chance’ in court (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2015 OP
stone space Mar 2015 #1
phil89 Mar 2015 #2
stone space Mar 2015 #3
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2015 #10
stone space Mar 2015 #11
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2015 #4
stone space Mar 2015 #5
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2015 #6
stone space Mar 2015 #7
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2015 #8
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2015 #9
stone space Mar 2015 #12

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 10:47 AM

1. Universities have a right (and obligation) to prevent lynchings on campus.

 

It's hard enough already to teach calculus even in a non-hostile environment.

No university should be expected to put up with something like this:

"There will never be a n****r at SAE
There will never be a n****r at SAE
You can hang him from a tree
But he’ll never sign with me
There will never be a n****r at SAE"


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Response to stone space (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:06 AM

2. You think they

 

they were going to lynch someone? That's not what this is about.

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Response to phil89 (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:08 AM

3. No reason to take chances with these guys.

 

I sure as hell wouldn't want them in my calculus class.

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Response to stone space (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:46 AM

10. Many registrars and probate judges sure as hell don't want same-sex couples married. NT

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:47 AM

11. Not sure of the relevance. They didn't talk about lynching gay couples (nt)

 

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Response to stone space (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:15 AM

4. IANAL, but the speech has to reach a certain level before its loses protection.

It has to do more than be odious.

United States free speech exceptions

ETA: From a few days before this latest incident happened:

Free Speech on Campus: The 10 Worst Offenders of 2014

Greg Lukianoff
President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Posted: 03/02/2015 9:38 am EST Updated: 03/02/2015 5:59 pm EST

College is the place where students should be encouraged to, as Yale promises, "think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable." Unfortunately, schools all across the country not only fall short on promises of free expression and academic freedom but openly suppress constitutionally protected speech on campus by using tools such as speech codes to shut down forms of expression that might be uncomfortable, disagreeable, or even offensive to some members of the campus community.

To give a clearer picture of campus censorship, we at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) today announce our fourth annual list of the top 10 threats to free speech on campus.

Google "odious protected speech."

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:20 AM

5. A university is not a court of law.

 

Universities don't have jails and prisons.

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Response to stone space (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:21 AM

6. A public university is an arm of the government. NT

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:25 AM

7. I teach at a state university.

 

I still don't want these guys in my calculus class.

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Response to stone space (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:34 AM

8. I attended an elementary school named after the man who wrote the Bill of Rights.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:42 AM

9. It's the ugliest stuff that brings out the staunchest defenders.

National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie

Purpose of the Case

In 1977 Frank Collin, the leader of National Socialist Party of America, announced the party's intention to march through Skokie, Illinois. In the predominantly Jewish community, one in six residents was a Holocaust survivor. Originally, the NSPA had planned a political rally in Marquette Park in Chicago; however the Chicago authorities blocked these plans by requiring the NSPA to post a public safety insurance bond and by banning political demonstrations in Marquette Park.

On behalf of the NSPA, the ACLU challenged the injunction issued by the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois that prohibited marchers at the proposed Skokie rally from wearing Nazi uniforms or displaying swastikas. The ACLU was represented by civil rights attorney Burton Joseph. The challengers argued that the injunction violated the First Amendment rights of the marchers to express themselves.

When the Nazis Came to Skokie: Freedom for Speech We Hate

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 11, 2015, 11:54 AM

12. These former students are still free...

 

...to march and hold their KKK rallies.

Nobody is stopping them from doing so.


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