Category: Academia

UCF Forced to Reinstate Professor Fired After Writing About “Black Privilege”

We previously discussed the effort to fire University of Central Florida Professor Charles Negy after he tweeted about “black privilege.”  UCF President Alexander Cartwright abandoned any pretense of academic freedom or principle in failing to protect a colleague from an anti-free speech campaign. Now, after a major court ruling against the university, an arbitrator has awarded Negy all back pay and benefits from the time of his firing.  That is good news. What is not good news is that, despite shredding core principles governing higher education, Cartwright remains the UCF president.  To the contrary, the university issued a statement that indicated that it is undeterred by the adverse court rulings.

University of South Carolina Drops Plans To Exclude Whites from Special Academic Program

The University of South Carolina was hit with a Title VI complaint after it attempted to create a special academic program that expressly excluded whites from participation. The requirements for its Business Success Academy limited eligibility to accepted high school juniors or seniors who identified as “African American or Black, Hispanic, LatinX, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or Two or More Races.” It took a formal complaint to get the public school to agree to drop racial exclusions. Continue reading “University of South Carolina Drops Plans To Exclude Whites from Special Academic Program”

Chasing Katz: Princeton Moves to Fire Classics Professor Who Criticized Anti-Racism Measures

We have been writing about the rising intolerance for conservative and dissenting views on our campuses. Many faculty members are fearful that, if they challenge the liberal orthodoxy at their schools, they will be shunned, investigated, or fired. For many, that fear was realized this month at Princeton where the university used a previously adjudicated grievance against Classics Professor Professor Joshua Katz to seek his termination. Katz had drawn the ire of faculty and students by questioning a proposed anti-racism program of benefits for minority faculty. Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber called on the university board to fire Katz in a move being denounced as a transparent effort to circumvent free speech and academic freedom protections over his prior public stance.

Continue reading “Chasing Katz: Princeton Moves to Fire Classics Professor Who Criticized Anti-Racism Measures”

“Then Hate Me When Thou Wilt”: Salford Removes Sonnets as “Products of White Western Culture”

Wisconsin Files Complaints Against Three Students Who Refused to Use Approved “Pronouns”

Conflicts over pronoun use have been rising around the country. There is a potentially important free speech case developing in Wisconsin. In Kiel, Wisconsin, three eighth graders are facing a Title IX complaint due to their failure to use plural pronouns “they/them” to refer to a single student. Indeed, it is reminiscent of the recent litigation involving a teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia. When the litigation involving teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross was unfolding, I noted that the most difficult such case for the district would be to impose such rules on students. This seems to be precisely that case in Wisconsin.

Continue reading “Wisconsin Files Complaints Against Three Students Who Refused to Use Approved “Pronouns””

The GW Commencement Controversy: A Response To Rep. Susan Wild

This weekend, I was unable to attend our law school graduation after traveling to Utah to speak to the Federal Bar Association. I have only missed a couple of graduations in almost 30 years of teaching. I soon, however, received emails from students and colleagues that made me somewhat thankful that I was unable to attend.

This year’s commencement speaker was Rep. Susan Wild (D) who represents the 7th District in Pennsylvania and is a distinguished graduate of our law school. Wild chose the commencement address to launch into a personal attack that accused me of being an example of the use of law for “wrongful ends.” She falsely accused me of changing a critical legal point in my testimony in the Clinton and Trump impeachment hearings on whether impeachable conduct must be indictable crimes. I felt that a response was warranted. Continue reading “The GW Commencement Controversy: A Response To Rep. Susan Wild”

Laurence Tribe Claims Trump Could Be Charged With Espionage

Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence Tribe has long been an endless font for the media in claiming clear evidence of a variety of crimes for the imminent prosecution of Donald Trump. Tribe declared evidence supporting criminal charges of witness tamperingevidence of obstruction f justice, criminal election violations, Logan Act violations, extortion and possible treason by Trump or his family. Now Tribe may have run the full course of the criminal code in claiming that Trump might be prosecuted as an effective spy because he violated rules governing the handling of classified information. Continue reading “Laurence Tribe Claims Trump Could Be Charged With Espionage”

“When The Mob is Right”: Georgetown Law Professor Josh Chafetz Supports “Aggressive” Protests at the Homes of Justices

Georgetown Law Professor Josh Chafetz is under fire this week after going to Twitter to defend “aggressive” protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices. Chafetz explained that such mob action should be permissible when “the mob is right.”  For many who have watched the rise of threats and intolerance on our campuses, Chafetz’s comments capture the culture of many on the left. While many were taken aback by a professor seemingly supporting mob action, it is the same “by any means necessary” justification that has been used to justify everything from packing to sacking to leaking on the Court. Continue reading ““When The Mob is Right”: Georgetown Law Professor Josh Chafetz Supports “Aggressive” Protests at the Homes of Justices”

GWU Student Association Demands Suspension of Conservative Group Over Offensive Tweets

The George Washington University (where I teach) has a new free speech controversy after the Student Association Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling on school officials to suspend the campus chapter of the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) for alleged four “transphobic” tweets. Continue reading “GWU Student Association Demands Suspension of Conservative Group Over Offensive Tweets”

“Better Off Just Keeping His Mouth Shut”: University of Central Florida Hit With Major Free Speech Ruling

There is a major victory for free speech out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit this week. An appellate panel ruled that the discriminatory-harassment and bias response team policies at the University of Central Florida (UCF) likely violate the First Amendment. The policies have many of the common ambiguous terms discussed on this blog from other schools as chilling free speech. The decision in Speech First v. Cartwright also contains an unenviable reliance on UCF’s own counsel for proving that his client is curtailing free speech.

Continue reading ““Better Off Just Keeping His Mouth Shut”: University of Central Florida Hit With Major Free Speech Ruling”

Harvard Cancels British Romanticism Scholar Due to Her Views on Gender Issues

Harvard University is under fire this week after canceling a talk by philosopher Devin Buckley on British Romanticism.  That is usually not a protest-inspiring subject. The Lyrical Ballads of  William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge do not usually trigger riotous reactions. However, Harvard decided to cancel this talk not because of Dr. Buckley’s world-renowned expertise but because of her political views and associations. She is a member of the Women’s Liberation Front, a feminist organization that has opposed transgender policies as inimical to women’s rights. That was enough for Harvard, which shattered any pretense of free speech and viewpoint diversity on its campus. Wordsworth once wrote that “all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” In this case, powerful feelings proved the end to good poetry. Continue reading “Harvard Cancels British Romanticism Scholar Due to Her Views on Gender Issues”

Supreme Court Declines Emergency Relief in Thomas Jefferson High School Case

I have been writing (here and here and here) on the controversy over the decision of the Fairfax School Board to change the admissions requirements for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology to achieve diversity goals. Now, the United States Supreme Court has denied a request for emergency intervention in the case. However, the decision is not the end of the case. The Court may still review the admissions changes and three justices are already signaling that they would like to do so.

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University of Waterloo Limits Science Position to “Women, Transgender, Non-Binary, or Two-Spirit” Persons

Dartmouth Under Fire Over Cancellation of In-Person Event with Journalist Andy Ngo

We have previously discussed how universities have used security fees and concerns to effectively block conservative speakers. Dartmouth College, however, is embroiled in a bizarre such controversy after it not only pushed a speech from an in-person event to an online event, but then demanded the school’s chapter of College Republicans pay a $3,600 “security fee” for an online event.  The claims made by the College are now being challenged not only by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), but also by the Hanover Police Department.

Continue reading “Dartmouth Under Fire Over Cancellation of In-Person Event with Journalist Andy Ngo”

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks