Ryan Flores, 30, is reportedly planning a tort action against Cregg Jerri, 58, for stabbing him in a California Starbuck. Such a battery lawsuit would make perfect sense after being stabbed 17 times. The problem is that he was stabbed in the course of an armed robbery and Jerri was credited as the hero who ran forward to protect the staff from the gun-touting Flores. The filing would presumably not contest the right to use the privilege of self-defense but argue that Jerri somehow exceeded that authority.
White supremacist Dylann Roof says that he has something of a problem on his hands: he has court-appointed counsel who happen to be Jewish and Indian. He has asked the court to replace Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani in his appeal of his death sentence for the massacre of nine people in the Emmanuel AME Church during a Bible study in 2015. Roof appears to believe that the right of counsel includes the right to white counsel. It doesn’t. The court should not be a vehicle for racial or religious discrimination to cater to the wishes of a homicidal fanatic. More importantly, that is the view of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Sometimes being a supporter of free speech can be really really really hard. A leading expert of “comparative jurisprudence” and Sunni cleric at al-Azhar University, Dr. Sabri Abdel Raouf, has been placed under review by his university (and ordered by the state media regulator to stay off the air) after dispensing some rather chilling advice on Sharia law and Islamic values. Abdel Raouf had told viewers that it is is permissible under Islamic law for a husband to have sex with his dead wife in what is called “goodbye intercourse.” The action taken by the university and the government highlights the curious line drawn over the discussion of Islam in Egypt. Moreover, it is a rather bizarre example of the debate that we are having in this country over the right of academics to engage in free (and controversial) speech outside of their schools. In this case, both the university and the government have moved to prevent anyone from airing these views as an insult to Islam.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reinstated the defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone by the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. The decision by Judge Katherine Forrest is an interesting application of the rarely successful “group defamation” claim. The decision comes as the Rolling Stone magazine itself has been put up for sale. As I have previously written, the editors failed on almost every level in the scandal, including failing to fire author Sabrina Erdely for the article alleging the gang rape of a freshman identified as “Jackie” at the University of Virginia. The panel in Elias v. Rolling Stone, 16-2465-cv, consisted of U.S. Circuit Judges José Alberto Cabranes and Raymond Lohier Jr., with U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York sitting by designation. The vote was 2-1.
On college campuses, faculty and students are facing new microaggression rules of ill-defined terms or images that, while not expressly racist, still constitute offensive speech. This week the President of Lipscomb University, Randy Lowry, apologized for hosting African American students at his house with a display containing cotton. Likewise, in Killeen, Texas. Hobby Lobby has been criticized on Facebook by Daniell Rider for selling cotton decor products because it raised painful memories of slavery. The Cotton Industry (which advertises “Cotton: The Fabric Of Our Lives”) has not been heard from on the latest claim of cotton as a fiber microaggression.
USFSP regional chancellor Sophia Wisniewska has been fired after the school learned that she went to Atlanta to ride out Hurricane Irma while allegedly suggesting that she was still at her post in St. Petersburg. USFSP regional chancellor Sophia Wisniewska was cited for her alleged incompetence and “lack of leadership” — a view of System President Judy Genshaft that some on campus contested.
Below is a column that I wrote for the Hill Newspaper in response to a “fact checker” column by the Washington Post. I have written for the Washington Post and have great respect for the publication. Indeed, I have objected to the attacks by President Donald Trump on the Post and the New York Times which remain two of our premiere journalistic organizations. However, I was frankly floored by the column by Glenn Kessler in criticizing White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I have discussed previously how there has been a palpable bias in reporting on the Trump Administration. It is often that case that some journalists are not simply satisfied with disagreeing with the Administration. They sometimes take judgment calls or opinions and declare the Trump side to be simply factually incorrect. This relieves the need for readers to address the opposing view of controversies like the alleged misconduct of former FBI director James Comey. Those views are simply dismissed as untrue. This is a prime example.
Here is the column: