“Potential and Real Harm”: Emory Law SBA Refuses Recognition of Free Speech Group

We recently discussed the controversy at Emory Law Journal over the decision to withdraw an offer of publication for an article after a law professor refused to make substantial changes to content discussing race issues that the editors found “hurtful and unnecessarily divisive.” Now the school is embroiled in another free speech controversy after the Student Bar Association (SBA) denied recognition for a free speech group in part out of concern over the “potential and real harm that could result from these discussions[.]”

The denial has been challenged by the Foundation for Individual Rights (FIRE), which is calling on the school to reconsider the decision. However, the school declined to respond to its initial letter.

The SBA informed the group that it was concerned that there was too much overlap with other groups like the Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society. However, the listing of the over 60 groups at the law school shows considerable overlap of subjects. Indeed, a free speech group can work as an umbrella organization with other groups in creating forums for discussions.

The SBA also objected to the failure to use moderators to control such discussions. It added that it was “hesitant to issue a charter when there are no apparent safeguards in place to prevent potential and real harm that could result from these discussions[.]”

None of those objections seem particularly compelling. The Emory Free Speech Forum (EFSF) is a non-partisan student group “devoted to fostering critical discourse and open dialogue surrounding important issues in law and society.” However, the EFSF members said that, during the meeting on their request for recognition, some SBA members criticized not just its mission but its ideology and the proposed speakers.

The rejection letter that followed seemed a rationalization of the bias reported by the students. The SBA declared that it “fail[ed] to see a need for this particular club to be chartered and subsequently funded by SBA.” However, individuals in the majority often fail to see the need for groups seeking forums for greater free speech. As FIRE noted in its letter, the SBA ironically cited the “well-established promotion of free speech values across Emory schools” created by its “Respect for Open Expression Policy” and “Open Expression Initiatives” as proof that there really is no need for a free speech group on campus. That circular logic suggests that, once free speech is recognized, there is less of a need to recognize free speech groups.

However, the greatest concerns were raised by the reference to the potential danger in allowing a free speech group since it “will likely give rise to a precarious environment – one where the conversation might very easily devolve.” The SBA made specific reference to controversial subjects that the groups would like to discuss as potentially harmful to the community, insisting that “it is disingenuous to suggest that certain topics of discussion you considered, such as race and gender, can be pondered and debated in a relaxed atmosphere when these issues directly affect and harm your peers’ lives in demonstrable and quantitative ways.”

The last line strips away the prior rationalization of the decision to expose content-based discrimination of this group. This group is not required to guarantee that it will preserve a “relaxed atmosphere” but rather a respectful and civil atmosphere. The group wants to discuss the divisive issues of these days. It should not be prevented from doing so because those topics “directly affect and harm … peers’ lives in demonstrable and quantitative ways.” Indeed, that is the purpose of such forums — to discuss issues that impact lives in demonstrable and quantitative ways.

Emory University’s “Respect for Open Expression Policy” affirms:

As a community of scholars, Emory University is committed to an environment where open expression of ideas is valued, promoted, and encouraged. Recognizing that the educational process of our institution requires diverse forms of open expression – including freedom of thought, inquiry, speech, activism, and assembly – the university affirms the rights of members of the community to assemble and demonstrate peaceably within the limits of this policy. The university must simultaneously maintain the right of community members to pursue their day-to-day activities and to be protected from physical injury or property damage.

It is hard to protect “these freedoms of thought, inquiry, speech, and assembly,” when you are barring free speech groups seeking to express free thought and inquiry. The countervailing need to protect people “from physical injury or property damage” is an obligation of all schools to maintain a safe campus while guaranteeing such free speech rights.

Referring to “potential and real harm” is not some talisman that removes obligations to respect free speech rights. It is common for censors and speech regulators to act in the name of protecting people from potentially harmful or disruptive ideas. Moreover, it is the conduct of this group — not third parties who might protest its events — that is the measure of its fitness for recognition. These groups succeed or fail based on the interest and support of other students. Free speech has its own corrective element. The solution to any bad speech is better speech.

It is not enough to simply say that this is a “student decision.” We have recently discussed how SBA members, student petitions, and student groups have attacked free speech rights. Schools cannot just out-source free speech to students and allow them to deny this essential right to others. The school has an obligation, as stated in its policy, to guarantee the exercise of such free speech rights. Student governance is no license for student discrimination in the free speech area.

We have previously discussed the concern that the anti-speech movement rising in our universities has reached our law schools, where free speech is ideally taught as a defining right of our constitutional system. If we cannot hold the line on free speech in our law schools, there is little hope that we can do so in other schools.

There is a petition for Emory Law Dean Mary Anne Bobinski to intervene in the controversy. Emory has not been a school viewed as speech intolerant and has earned a “green light” from FIRE. It should reaffirm its excellent free speech policy and reexamine the basis (and possible bias) underlying this decision.

231 thoughts on ““Potential and Real Harm”: Emory Law SBA Refuses Recognition of Free Speech Group”

  1. Eric Holder said white Americans need to hold open and honest discussions about race.

    The Student Bar Association says “it is disingenuous to suggest that certain topics of discussion you considered, such as race and gender, can be pondered and debated in a relaxed atmosphere….”

    There is no conflict of real opinion here.

    We all know that Obama and Holder and the Wokerati only want discussions on race to stay on the same steel tracks demanded by the SBA.

    No diversions into honesty and truth can be allowed.

  2. “will likely give rise to a precarious environment . . .”

    Translated: We demand that the law school be a safe space.

  3. Once again, Turley excerpts phrases while omitting parts of a sentence that impact the meaning of the sentence, and he fails to make clear where one can read the entire text.

    Should anyone else want to read the entire letter from the SBA to the EFSF, it is appended to FIRE”s letter to the SBA.

    The EFSF could significantly address the issues by committing to having a moderator or mediator.

    The SBA letter also raises questions about which JT is silent, such as: why does the EFSF want an SBA charter? How does that advance the EFSF’s mission? There is no statement from the EFSF addressing this.

    1. why does the EFSF want an SBA charter? How does that advance the EFSF’s mission?
      No charter, no access to that pot of money dolled out to student organizations.

      1. So they want some of the SBA’s money, which is limited. Why are they a good use of that limited funding?

        Surely the SBA is not the only source of funding, if that’s all they want.

    2. WOW. Talk about leaving out pertinent information. I wrote my answer earlier before I decided to chase down the other egregious error being charged, and ran across this. Buried in the one line opening paragraph. Turley did not spend any time on the obvious. A charter allows funding. Simple, simple, simple

      To seek University funding and to use University resources for up to Two full semesters, the group has satisfied all required criteria for recognition

      1. It doesn’t say “required criteria.” Are you unable to copy and paste the true text and also unable to simply type truthfully? Why would you make a dishonest substitution?

        1. I transcribed from the letter because I could not cut and paste. replacing, by mistake, ‘procedural’, with ‘required’, does not substantively change the meaning.

          Exactly the same meaning, You accused Turley of being silent as to the need of charter. You lied because the reason is plainly stated in the link. Besides being painfully obvious to any person that would give the question a moment of thought. Approval means access and money.

          Continue digging.

          1. BS.

            “Procedural” and “required” aren’t synonyms. In this case, procedural criteria are a proper subset of required criteria, so your substitution *does* substantively change the meaning.

            Turley is not the link and not the author of any of the text in the link. The text in the link says many things that Turley doesn’t say.

            They can get money elsewhere, and a key issue is whether it’s a good use of SBA’s limited funds. He is silent about this key issue.

            1. Lets see what we have here

              “Procedural” and “required” aren’t synonyms.

              I never said they were synonyms

              , In this case, procedural criteria are a proper subset of required criteria

              So it is the proper subset of required? Yes isn’t that what I said? I admitted I transcribed the wrong word, You just admitted it does not change the meaning.

              1. Iowan2,

                “I never said they were synonyms”. Ummm… you clearly did. A synonym is a word that has the same meaning.

                “ I transcribed from the letter because I could not cut and paste. replacing, by mistake, ‘procedural’, with ‘required’, does not substantively change the meaning.

                Exactly the same meaning, ..,”.

                Saying they have EXACTLY THE SAME MEANING is saying they are synonymous.

                Procedural; relating to an established or official way of doing something.

                Requirement; a thing that is compulsory; a necessary condition.

                One is an established procedure the other is what the procedure entails. They are two different things.

                1. Svelaz, many words have more than one definition. That is why you have to understand context. You don’t and make a fool of yourself.

                  SM

                  1. S. Meyer,

                    “ Svelaz, many words have more than one definition.”

                    Having more than one definition doesn’t make them the same. You’re the one who has no clue as to what constitutes context. They are two different things. Procedure and requirement are two different things. Just like accurate and excellent which you stupidly claimed are the same thing.

                    You don’t have the intelligence to make the distinction.

                    1. You don’t have any intellectual ability, do you? In context, words can be the same though not identical. Same: definition: “resembling in every relevant respect”

                      Do you know what the words “resembling and “relevant” mean? Context suddenly becomes important, but your intellect is too flat to cross the hills and valleys. You can only see in a straight line while barely knowing what you are looking at.

                      We went through the same problem when, despite the FDA saying otherwise, you believed BioNTech was approved. Its sister vaccine was approved, and they were similar, but that doesn’t mean BioNTech was approved. You were wrong. It showed you couldn’t adequately read what you linked to and when it was explained to you with clearer FDA text, you failed to understand that as well. You have never tried to utilize whatever dismal intelligence God gave you. It sits in a box unused which makes you dumber than dumb.

                      SM

                  2. S. Meyer,

                    “ You don’t have any intellectual ability, do you? In context, words can be the same though not identical.”

                    LOL!!!! S. Meyer. You really don’t get context at all. Pretending to know and offering an example that doesn’t apply to your claims is not an argument.

                    “Same” and “identical” ARE synonymous. “Accurate” and “excellence” in any context are not synonymous. Just as “procedural” and. “Requirement” are not synonymous in any context either.

                    You call everyone else stupid, but clearly you are just projecting your own “shortcomings” on others.

                    “ We went through the same problem when, despite the FDA saying otherwise, you believed BioNTech was approved. Its sister vaccine was approved, and they were similar, but that doesn’t mean BioNTech was approved. ”

                    Being the liar you are that’s not what I said at all. You claimed the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was not approved. I showed you the actual approval letter showing it did. You couldn’t distinguish the difference between the commercial name of the Pfizer vaccine with what is commonly called by the public. You think they are two different vaccines when in reality they are the same thing. It’s fun watching you struggle and move the goalposts in desperation from needing to acknowledge your inaccurate claims. Or is that….”excellent” claims?

                    1. “Accurate” and “excellence” in any context are not synonymous.”

                      No one said they were. The statement was that a good textbook could not be both inaccurate and excellent at the same time.

                      Your facts are inaccurate. That makes you the opposite of excellent. You can’t help yourself because you are illiterate.

                      “Being the liar you are that’s not what I said at all. You claimed the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was not approved. I showed you the actual approval letter showing it did.”

                      That was not an approval letter for BioNTech. One of the items provided was permission to sell the vaccine, another licensing, and other ages for EUA use. Comirnaty has FDA approval, BioNTech does not. I just provided you data from the FDA about two months old that explained the difference and proved you wrong. You made all sorts of excuses like the information was too old, which it wasn’t. You think you are so smart that you cannot be wrong. That is not true. You are so dumb, you cannot see when you are wrong.

                      Show us anywhere where BioNTech got the same approval as Comirnaty. You can’t, but being as stupid as you are, you will continue to believe what you wish to believe.

                      Comirnaty and BioNTech are legally different and though similar, are not identical composition-wise. Comirnaty has the FDA approval, BioNTech does not.

                      SM

              2. “I never said they were synonyms”

                You said “Exactly the same meaning,” which is what a synonym is.

                “So it is the proper subset of required? Yes isn’t that what I said?”

                No, that’s not what you said. A proper subset and the superset don’t have the same meaning.

                “You just admitted it does not change the meaning.”

                BS. I literally said ”your substitution *does* substantively change the meaning.” What a liar you are.

            2. Anonymous, looks like you have another case of “excellence means accuracy” attempt at avoiding being caught making stuff up.

              1. It looks like Svelaz is demonstrating both his lack of excellence and accuracy. If I remember correctly, that discussion was over Howard Zinn’s textbook. It could not be an excellent textbook because it had so many inaccuracies. That was the context of the discussion.

                Svelaz, on the other hand, thinks accuracy is not necessary for a textbook to be excellent. That makes sense to Svelaz since he is always inaccurate.

                Take the approval of the Pfizer vaccine, BioNTech. Svelaz argued it was approved repeatedly despite quotes from the FDA. Svelaz loudly said it was approved, assuming it was the approved Comirnaty. They are not identical. From the FDA: “The products are legally distinct with certain differences that do not impact safety or effectiveness.” That means BioNTech was not approved. In the same argument, he screwed up on what the NY document said about eligibility for the anti-virals. He gets almost nothing right because he insists inaccuracy means excellence.

                When it comes to inaccuracies and misinformation, Svelaz has cornered the market.

                1. S. Meyer, it’s easy to make arguments with poor memory. You claimed accuracy and excellent were the same thing. Now you’re just spinning away a bad incoherent argument that tried to cover up the fact that you were making stuff up.

                  1. Svelaz, you continue to remain dumb and inaccurate. One should not consider a textbook that lacks accuracy to be excellent. That is what the discussion was about. You had to understand context, but context is above your pay grade.

                    If you wish to find the posts where these comments were made, I will explain them further. My previous responses about BioNTech and other things are adequate, but you have a very thick skull.

                    SM

                    1. S. Meyer,

                      “ My previous responses about BioNTech and other things are adequate, but you have a very thick skull.”

                      LOL!!!! They were adequate garbage.

                      S. Meyer, your responses have been a plethora of spins and disingenuousness and outright obfuscation. Hiding behind ad hominems and projection is still not going to make you any more credible.

                    2. Svelaz, why don’t you quote the FDA and prove your point? I already proved mine and proved you wrong.

                      You can’t. Go count your toes.

    3. Do you compose your comment before you read the material.
      This is from Turleys lead sentence in the fourth paragraph. I assume that is the ommsion you speak of, because you never really identify what sentence you are refering to . So I looked for clues.

      The SBA also objected to the failure to use moderators to control such discussions.

      1. Yes, I read JT’s entire column, and then I read the SBA’s entire letter. I already saw what you refer to. Did you notice that that’s paragraphs away from where he partially quoted the sentence it came from, so that readers don’t know that it’s context for the partial quote?

        As for “I assume that is the ommsion you speak of, because you never really identify what sentence you are refering to,” it would be obvious to you if you read the SBA letter in full.

    4. “Once again, Turley excerpts phrases while omitting . . .”

      That’s your MO: Turley misrepresents the issue, because he does not focus on some picayune thing, that I want others to believe is earth-shattering.

      1. Sam, anonymous is right. Turley has done this before. He has been mischaracterizing the nature of a dispute by omitting pertinent information that lends context to it. He’s being disingenuous.

        This was not about free speech. It was about access to funds. Having read the whole letter it clearly makes that the primary reason for the group wanting to be recognized as a charter.

        Most posters here RARELY dive into the details of the dispute Turley talks about and blindly accept what he’s saying without finding out the real story behind it. It makes sense. This is how Trump supporters or the nut jobs on the right get so riled up. Because Turley is doing exactly what he complains about. Feeding the “age of rage “ mentality.

        The hypocrisy is pretty clear.

        1. “This was not about free speech. It was about access to funds.”

          Why does the Left insist on separating money from speech?

          Money is the means of practicing one’s right to free speech.

          1. Sam,

            “ Money is the means of practicing one’s right to free speech.”

            You don’t need money to practice free speech. Just a street corner and speak away. Nothing stops anyone from doing that.

            The group seeking the charter wasn’t being denied the ability to exercising free speech. If you actually took the time to read the letter anonymous is talking about it clearly is an issue of accessing funds.

            1. “You don’t need money to practice free speech.”

              Tell that to the publishers whose wealth is confiscated by the authorities, like in Hong Kong.

  4. Reality check: As someone who grew up in a Southern state, CRT or “Critical Race Theory” has been taught in southern schools since at least the 1960’s glamorizing confederate white history – omitting the vantage point of African-Americans.

    Why are Democrats falling for this? Democrats are simply wanting to teach the whole entire history – not just the white confederate history. I grew up with this biased one-sided history, Democrats shouldn’t fall for it again.

    1. since at least the 1960’s glamorizing confederate white history – omitting the vantage point of African-Americans.

      So in the 60’s Democrats were in charge of the curriculum, and 60 years later, Democrats are still in charge of the curriculum. Evidence abounds we are getting more of the same disastrous results.

  5. Sounds like the student have life figured out.

    If you dont talk about a problem, the problem doesn’t exist.

    This is like a lesson in manners. To be polite, don’t talk about money, religion, politics. This aides in comity, and pleasant times. Never solves anything. But all leave the party smiling.

    Gone is the notion that colleges are raising the next generation of problem solvers.

    1. What BS.

      The SBA encouraged them to talk. Nothing prevents them from talking. The issue is whether the SBA will fund them, not whether they can talk.

      1. Its not SBA monies, It is the Universities monies, or rather, STUDENT MONEY, held by the University to fund STUDENT activities.

        1. You clearly haven’t read the entire letter, not even the footnote for the false “quote” you gave earlier. The letter says “funded by SBA” and “funding from the SBA.” Yes, it’s SBA monies.

          1. Where does the money come from? Do we know? There is a distinct possibility a portion of tuition is used for its funding. If so, that is what counts.

            A lot of accusations thrown about here despite a lack of knowledge to go along with the disparagement.

            1. “ The letter says “funded by SBA”

              These are not monies generated from student fees?”

              How about fees for membership in SBA? It’s an association so there’s bound to be membership fees.

  6. It’s interesting that Turley doesn’t mention that this university is a private school. If the SBA which obviously pays the school for their private education decides what they will allow or not by vote it’s pretty clear they CAN do that. Turley insisting the school intervene would be contrary to what the students who are paying the school want.

    Liberty university is also a private school and they have a clear history of censorship and controlling free speech. Turley never seemed to be as concerned as he is now about such “attacks on free speech”.

    “ It is common for censors and speech regulators to act in the name of protecting people from potentially harmful or disruptive ideas.”

    This comment from Turley sure reeks of hypocrisy. Isn’t this the same thing Republican legislatures are doing when they are passing laws banning CRT? Turley is “strangely” silent on that issue. If he’s such a big advocate of free speech as he says he is he isn’t doing a very good job by being very selective on who he criticizes.

    1. It’s only because he is unwilling to take questions that he can be a hypocrite with the impunity. Will he ever debate a person who challenges his views? Does he take questions in his law class from his students?

      It is strange that none of the contributors here self-identify as one of his current students or former student who would be able to shed light on his classroom. He has taught thousands of students over his career; where are they? There doesn’t seem to be any academics on this blog as well. Has any self-identified law professor or colleague ever chimed in here? It seems the vast majority of contributors here are not lawyers. Why?

      1. From what I’ve read of comments about Turley from law professors and other lawyers in high standing (e.g., people who’ve argued before SCOTUS), they may respect some of his peer-reviewed articles, but they find his columns legally weak and misleading.

        I was an acadenic in a different field, and I find his cherrypicking and sloppiness shameful, really contrary to the academic integrity that I expect of faculty and a bad model for his students.

        1. I agree with you. I hope you will read my Off-topic contribution I just posted. How do you think Turley could rationally and honestly answer my question?

          I look forward to the day when Turley has to confront these accusations of hypocrisy and cherry-picking. He can’t evade them forever. He will be held accountable.

          1. Yes, I read it and agree. I, too, look forward to the day when Turley has to confront the accusations of hypocrisy and cherry-picking.

                  1. Lol! I guess I’m more used to reading all the anonymous commenters to know the difference. It’s a developed talent I guess.

          2. Accountable for what? Specifics please. Are you going to hold Turley accountable for not turning the light switch off?

          3. Jeff, I agree as well. I Suspect that some columns are written by Turley, but given the sloppiness and outright disingenuousness of some of his columns I also suspect his staff writes them. Whoever is in charge of proof reading his columns is not doing a good job.

            Some columns are so riddled with inaccuracies or grammatical errors that it begs credulity that Turley who prides himself in discussing details be as sloppy as a freshman in his first day.

            1. I would be shocked if someone else is writing these on his behalf. That would be a huge breach of trust. You will notice that Turley’s Hill.com articles do not contain errors because it would be too unprofessional. It is curious that he does not take the same care in his submissions here- such is the disdain he has for what he refers to his “blog family.”

              1. That’s exactly my point. Turley is a law professor, he should be consistent in his writing. Grammar and accuracy. Any professor would expect the same from his students.

                So I’m a bit skeptical of the idea that he’s writing most these columns on his blog.

                1. Turley would proofread articles handed to him before publishing them! All he has to do is redline the mistakes and hand it back to his secretary for correcting. I suspect that he rips these columns out and is too preoccupied to give them the once over before hitting send.

                  How do you think Turley would justify his legitimizing a liar like Carlson by appearing on his program when surely he would not appear with the likes of Alex Jones? The fact that he ignores Carlson’s lies and conspiracy theories is proof positive that he cannot defend Carlson nor his association with him.

                  I don’t know if Turley remains in good standing with the academy of law professors. I suspect that he realized that he was crossing the Rubicon when he joined Fox- such is the contempt for Fox by the overwhelming majority of his colleagues.

                  He attempts to distance himself from Fox’s false narratives by ignoring them, but his silence will not avail him. In fact, his silence condemns him.

                  1. Jeff, I wonder if Turley can’t criticize Fox because of an NDA ( non-disclosure agreement). Surely that could be a condition in order to get a big paycheck.

                    Still, I find it hard to believe that Turley can be “above the fray” and still be considered a “credible” commentator on Fox News when he can’t criticize even the most obvious violations of his own principles happening right on front of him.

                    1. When Chris Wallace quit Fox, he claims that no one told him what he could not say. But he knew that had he said what he should have said, it would have jeopardized his employment. His contract would not be renewed. Employees like Turley don’t need to be told what not to say. It’s understood implicitly.

                      Consequently, Turley has a conflict of interest between his holding himself out as an impartial and objective commentator vs. his loyalty to his Fox colleagues and his inclination not to antagonize his bosses. The fact that he informs his readers that he works for Fox does not abrogate this conflict. Rather, he simply puts the reader on notice that he is conflicted! The only ethical way to avoid such a conflict- even the appearance of a conflict- is to RECUSE oneself. Accordingly, Turley ought not to comment on ANYTHING related to Fox. However, every time he disparages Fox’s media competitors, his comments cannot but help Fox! Hence, his conflict.

                      Bottom line: if Turley wants to be an advocate for Fox, so be it, but he cannot be impartial while on the Fox payroll.

              2. Jeff, Turley has displayed such an incredible mind that he doesn’t have to prove his value. Why should he waste time editing his work for the blog providing about two articles per day? Turley is busy writing for the Hill and elsewhere, along with his teaching position and actual legal work. One can tell he is erudite when listening to him where his words are not scripted.

                As an aside, I bet he is more careful with his published articles. Additionally, places like the Hill might have professional editors checking for typos and the like, along with the job of formatting the articles for publication.

        2. Two people, this one and the one below believe they can climb the ladder by pulling others down. A sure sign of a feeble character.

        3. (e.g., people who’ve argued before SCOTUS), they may respect some of his peer-reviewed articles, but they find his columns legally weak and misleading.

          Since these are the Prof. blog posts and not peer reviewed law papers, it is clear 6 paragraphs are going to lay out a premise, not the entire legal, and , Constitutional ramifications.
          I have asked before exactly what about the law or constitution the good Prof. has gotten wrong, and have never seen a single example. In fact the only criticism I ever see are an endless stream of ‘whataboutim’. never a debate about the law, or constitution.

          1. Iowan2,

            “ In fact the only criticism I ever see are an endless stream of ‘whataboutim’. never a debate about the law, or constitution.”

            Well that’s true about everyone here. Including you. However there is plenty of debate about law or the constitution here, it’s debated all the time. Problem is they are constantly disrupted by personal attacks or incoherent rants about the left or fascists, socialists, communists, Marxists, whichever one is the flavor of the day. If there were less of that I’m sure you would see real discussions more often.

    2. It’s interesting that Turley doesn’t mention that this university is a private school.

      Because it is not relevant….because it is a private university. Turley is NOT calling for the Government to take any action.

      The question raised by his post centers on the goals and rolls of the University in Educating the next generation. Yes ‘Free Speech’ is enumerated in the constitutions, but why? Why was the speech of citizens so important, it warranted its own line, in those rights protected from government intrusion? Can you answer that question, then understand why the actions of these Universities are dangerous?

      This is not about the law. It’s about a culture of freedom and liberty. Principles that never before were debated, but a core principle that underscored our lives.

      1. Iowan2,

        “ It’s interesting that Turley doesn’t mention that this university is a private school.

        Because it is not relevant….because it is a private university. Turley is NOT calling for the Government to take any action.”

        It’s quite relevant, because a private school CAN censor free speech IF it wanted to. The first amendment’s prohibition against censorship is a prohibition in government. Not private industry or schools.

        The school is NOT a government entity and as you said yourself. “ Why was the speech of citizens so important, it warranted its own line, in those rights protected from government intrusion?”

        Government intrusion. Not private school intrusion.

        There’s your answer.

        1. It’s quite relevant, because a private school CAN censor free speech IF it wanted to

          Nobody said they COULDN’T. This debate, as Turley has clearly laid out. SHOULD a University, violate its own standards that espouse a free open exchange of all ideas.

          shhh, just between you and me. WHAT ARE YOU SO AFRAID OF?

    3. I assume you’re not a lawyer, because you don’t seem to be aware of Bob Jones University vs. the United States (1982), wherein the U.S. Supreme Court held that the IRS could lawfully revoke the tax exempt status of BJU because the private university banned inter-racial dating as a tenant of its interpretation of the bible. Now why the IRS would care who some college student dates is beyond me. And if I didn’t like the policies of the colleges I attended, I was free to choose from among the tens of thousands of other colleges and universities in the United States. But clearly, in the BJU case, the Nixon Administration was using the IRS to enforce “politically correct” social policies by financially crippling a private university. Will the Biden Administration direct the IRS to revoke the tax exempt status of Emory Law because it violates its students constitutional right to free speech? Don’t hold your breath!

      1. TIN,

        “ Now why the IRS would care who some college student dates is beyond me. ”

        The answer is pretty simple. Because the school APPLIED for tax exempt status. In order for the school to be able to have the tax exempt status. It had to abide by certain requirements.

        “ In 1970, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changed its formal policy to adopt a district court decision that prohibited the IRS from giving tax-exempt status to private schools engaging in racial discrimination. The IRS believed that the University’s policies amounted to racism and revoked its tax-exempt status. The University claimed that the IRS had abridged its religious liberty. This case was decided together with Goldsboro Christian Schools Inc. v. United States, in which Goldsboro maintained a racially discriminatory admissions policy based upon its interpretation of the Bible, accepting for the most part only Caucasian students. The IRS determined that Goldsboro was not an exempt organization and hence was required to pay federal social security and unemployment taxes. After paying a portion of such taxes for certain years, Goldsboro filed a refund suit claiming that the denial of its tax-exempt status violated the U.S. Constitution.”

        https://www.oyez.org/cases/1982/81-3

        “ The Court found that the IRS was correct in its decision to revoke the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University and the Goldsboro Christian School. These institutions did not meet the requirement by providing “beneficial and stabilizing influences in community life” to be supported by taxpayers with a special tax status. The schools could not meet this requirement due to their discriminatory policies. ”

  7. None of think so, be we live our life in fear. Falls into to large over arching principles.

    Fear of losing what we have.

    Fear of not getting what we so justly deserve

    Hear the students fear they will loose the narrative. What they have been taught since primary school, will be shown to be a lie.

  8. Not the same University I attended in 1966-1970. There was true free speech and everyone was quite capable and willing to engage in it. The 1960’s was a radical time on campuses and a decision such as this would never have stood and certainly students of that time would not have allowed their speech to be infringed in any manner. We had arguments right and left. It is a private university but it gets substantial money from the Federal Government and therefore should have to answer for these new policies by students and supporting faculty. But with the present Biden Administration I would not hold my breath waiting for the Biden Justice dept sending any “Dear Colleague” epistle to this University. I used to be proud of my degree from there, less so these days.

  9. Send your kid to a “trade” school. It’s better to be a plumber or be an electrician than a teacher.

    1. Amen. I have a friend who’s son went to a trade high school. He now works for a large electrical firm. Married a girl who is working on her PHD. He’s paying for it.

      1. Perhaps she isn’t a great student. Good doctoral students generally have a combination of fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships that totally pay for the degree and also provide a limited income.

        1. Not always an option. My ex brother in law held down a full time job while working on his Doctorate. He had a wife and child to support. He’s now a Professor, researcher, and published author who has spoken repeatedly on CSPAN Book TV.

          1. I agree, but in this case, Bob said her husband was paying for it, not that she was paying for it out of a good salary she earned elsewhere.

            1. Just saying we don’t know all of the circumstances. It’s true that oftentimes a good tradesman can earn far more than some with advanced degrees. If that were the bulk of the household income is coming from it only makes sense that his salary would go to pay the bill, tuition, etc.

              1. I would offer to both sides of this debate.

                Money is possible the last way to measure life’s success.

                Saying that. Advanced degrees in liberal arts are the playground for the second and third generation of wealthy. They are the only ones that can achieve the degrees without starving first.

                1. I’m a first generation college grad who not only got a Ph.D. without starving, I saved some money while in grad school because I had a generous competitive fellowship.

                  1. I like seeing people achieve well meaningful goals, but more important then success & money is bring one self, family, friends & associates into harmony with life as we move foward.

                    Just look at the people from the US music biz, a bit of success, money & it looks like another Sunday massive NASCAR Crash on the track of life.

                    None of us know all of how yet we must be aware.

  10. Monument….we also have a lot of not very bright people that are compelled to hold forth on every topic as well.

    Wait a few minutes and they shall begin the daily deluge of useless posts.

    The Professor very accurately cut to the chase on the issue at hand….but sadly used more than a single sentence with words of five letters or less to explain it….thus the Dim Wits are incapable of grasping the import of his words.

    It would appear the Emory SBA thinks itself a follower of Face Book Community Standards and is playing the role of Face Book’s legendary Fact Checkers.

    It seems the SBA just does not want to hear differing opinions…..and hopefully they shall….from the University itself when it decides to over ride the SBA or do away with its leadership for violating University Policies on Free Speech.

  11. Law 101:

    Any law, including the “supreme law of the land” – U.S. Constitution – is totally meaningless without enforcement and a healthy risk of penalty for law breakers. Civilized nations have overt posted written laws (publicly advertised) so citizens can try to comply with overt laws. Citizens can’t comply (even if they wanted to) with secret or unwritten laws. This type of confusion actually creates anarchy and distrusting government institutions by the citizenry.

    Public university officials censoring speech are violating constitutional-statutes like Title 18 US Code 245. “Constitutional-statutes” define what constitutional violations are and the relevant range of penalties for law breakers.

    This has been the story of 21st Century America. Torture, violating FISA, warrantless domestic spying, covert blacklisting and now censorship – all felony crimes under existing federal law. No cops, no enforcement and no penalties for law breakers in over 20 years. To the average American the Justice system no longer has any credibility.

    Why don’t college censors fear legal penalty.

  12. I wonder how these students who have obvious difficulty dealing with ideas they do not embrace will be able to function as practicing lawyers? I suspect none will be drawn to trial work. A courtroom can be “a precarious environment – one where the conversation [does] easily devolve.” I can hear it now. “Your honor, I object. The question will require the witness to answer directly rather than ponder the question in a relaxed atmosphere.”

    1. They are hoping, possibly correctly, that by then they will be working for people just like themselves. Open your eyes to the broader dangers – that ‘real world’ you expect them to bump into fades more everyday with their ascension in public life.

    2. I suggest that you read their letter in full instead of relying on JT’s misleading summary.

      Courtrooms have judges who absolutely control some of the speech, more than a moderator can, via contempt charges.

      1. “I suggest that you read their letter in full instead of relying on JT’s misleading summary.”

        Pure insult based on haughty nescience..

  13. This is a private university, so 1A free speech does not apply. As a private university they have a right to control their own speech.
    Also, other schools like Liberty University have horrible free scorch and I don’t see JT or any of you having a problem with that.

    1. If an institution takes absolutely no federal dollars nor offers accredited courses that qualify for federal student loans then they could do as they please. What student would attend a non-accredited university?

      Once an institution enters into the accreditation process, offers degrees, offers student loans, they fall under federal requirements and guidelines of the USDE It is a complex arrangement.

      Regarding the status of a private or state institution, all universities experience funding challenges. State universities depend more now than ever on tuition and fees and less on state and local funding. There is a careful line administration must walk in order to keep the peace with the alumni and other private donors.,

    2. Sammy, that sounds very much like a talking point. Could you perhaps provide an example or two so we can better understand?

  14. Believing that any university today will provide a comprehensive, non-biased education with critical thinking and rational reasoning seen as more important than ‘woke’ ideology is simply delusional. We have ceded the power to educate our children to those with a leftist, socialist and anti-American agenda, and it will be the downfall of our country.

  15. Constitution of the United States, 1791 “Bill of Rights”, Amendment I:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    I’m not an attorney, or even learned in the law, but it seems self-evident that future lawyers should at least be proficient in the basis of our legal system and subscribe to the rule of law, they may possibly soon be swearing to uphold..

      1. I’ll bet you a chai latte that they take federal money from some source, thus bringing themselves under the ambit of the Constitution and federal laws.

      2. Sammy: You are tedious. Read Emory’s own policy — which they are now violating. And, as others have charitably pointed out, they accept federal funds — and thus cannot abridge free speech. People on this thread are being kind to you, but make no mistake, your credibility is shot. You are tolerated as one would tolerate an annoying mosquito — for a while.

    1. Steve, as you know, hospitals that receive Federal funds must comply with Federal mandates and laws. As an extension, I would think that universities that live off the financial trough of the Feds, must also comply with the same Federal mandates and laws that hospitals do. Otherwise they, like hospitals who defy Federal laws, can be cut off. Seems to me that it is up to the injured party to seek judicial relief. Emory is allowing those who receive Federal financial aid to suffer “restricting the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving financial aid”. Sue them.

      The Department has issued regulations implementing Title VI that are applicable to all recipients of financial assistance from the Department. 34 CFR part 100. The regulations prohibit discrimination in the administration of financial aid programs. Specifically, they prohibit a recipient, on the basis of race, color, or national origin, from denying financial aid; providing different aid; subjecting anyone to separate or different treatment in any matter related to financial aid; restricting the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving financial aid; and treating anyone differently in determining eligibility or other requirements for financial aid. 34 CFR 1O0.3(b)(l); see also 34 CFR 1OO.3(b)(2).

      https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/racefa.html

      1. Those regs say nothing about free speech. It is also well established that free speech and other 1A rights for not apply to private schools.

        1. It’s interesting that Turley doesn’t mention this is a private school. His criticisms about these “attacks on free speech” are always centered on these obscure universities tucked away in some backwoods part of a state.

          1. “always centered on these obscure universities”

            Emory Law School is an obscure university? Go back to counting your toes.

          2. centered on these obscure universities tucked away in some backwoods part of a state.

            Resolved: Svelaz’s alma mater, “West Hollywood College for Bottoms and Tops” outranks “Emory University”

            Those regs also say nothing about abortions and dispensing abortifacients, but if any university hospital refused either of these life ending options, you would be the first and the most histrionic accusing them of preventing “constitutionally protected” abortions.

            Protip: You really ought to bring a lawsuit against West Hollywood College for producing the nimrod that you are.

        2. Sammy: Emory University’s “Respect for Open Expression Policy”:

          “As a community of scholars, Emory University is committed to an environment where open expression of ideas is valued, promoted, and encouraged. Recognizing that the educational process of our institution requires diverse forms of open expression – including freedom of thought, inquiry, speech, activism, and assembly – the university affirms the rights of members of the community to assemble and demonstrate peaceably within the limits of this policy. The university must simultaneously maintain the right of community members to pursue their day-to-day activities and to be protected from physical injury or property damage.”

            1. Did you notice that little line in the Constitution that say
              or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,

              Notice the “the press” . That is a reference to the means to disseminate speech. The drafters were keen on the Governments past u ofabuses of power to shut down wide distribution of speech. (brings to mind SCOTUS violating free speech by limiting assembly to protest the court by providing an area a block away from the court building.)

  16. We have a group of bright people here, so I cannot believe that they do not see the issues.

    The only other explanation is that these people do not believe that conservatives should have the same rights as liberals.

    That is the same attitude evidenced by the DOJ.

    And evidenced by the Biden administration.

    1. whig98: Yes, the ACLU is part of the problem…a giant part. As a model to which many law students aspire, the ACLU is a disgrace to the Constitution and the concept of democracy.

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