Campus Free Speech

University of Alabama Student Expelled for Racist Instagram Rant

Clearly unconstitutional, and a threat to a vast range of other, much more serious, speech.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

According to press accounts, a University of Alabama student was expelled for posting an Instagram video in which she said, among other things, "I fucking hate niggers," and then some. The University president issued a statement condemning the video and saying the student "is no longer enrolled here"; that doesn't outright say that she was expelled, but I have no reason to doubt the press accounts.

Now no-one can confuse the video with a thoughtful argument. If empty hostility like this vanished from American life (perhaps through some magical transfusion of decency and good judgment), the nation would be a better place.

But there's a practical reason that the First Amendment forbids expelling university students for saying such things—or for that matter saying that they hate fucking Americans or Israelis, or love Hitler or Stalin or Mao or Che or whoever else. The last several years have made clear what the preceding decades should have shown as well: Attempts to punish people for their views aren't going to be neatly cabined just to the extreme.

Condemnations of illegal immigration, of the Black Lives Matter movement, of affirmative action, of Israel, and of a wide range of other things are routinely excoriated as racist or anti-Semitic. Some such excoriation may be factually accurate in some instances; but it means that, if supposedly racist speech can be suppressed, then any expression of such views risks being suppressed as well.

Likewise, we've routinely seen people on campuses try to suppress serious speakers alongside the ridiculous, and to suppress substantive arguments alongside epithets. Nor is this limited to race and ethnicity. Sharp criticism of Islam is viewed by many as morally equivalent to racism (and is sometimes even outright labeled racism). Logically, the same should apply to sharp criticism of Catholicism, evangelical Christianity, and the like. Likewise, the notion that disapproval of homosexuality—not just slinging epithets but any form of discrimination or support for discrimination—is morally tantamount to racism is a commonplace of modern debates about gay rights.

If university students know that students can be freely expelled for racist rants, would they feel confident that they wouldn't be expelled—or suspended or otherwise punished—for expressing their views even without the epithets? Would they feel confident that they wouldn't be punished for expressing views critical of illegal aliens or transgender rights, or for arguing that there are biological differences between the sexes or between racial groups? Even apart from the rights of the particular student in this case, is there any safe harbor that officials like the University of Alabama president can offer to other students who want to express other views that the president may find "highly offensive and deeply hurtful," and that "do not represent … the values of [the] University"?

Justice Black's 1961 dissenting opinion in Communist Party of U.S. v. Subversive Activities Control Bd. began with the famous line:

I do not believe that it can be too often repeated that the freedoms of speech, press, petition and assembly guaranteed by the First Amendment must be accorded to the ideas we hate or sooner or later they will be denied to the ideas we cherish.

Justice Powell's majority opinion in Healy v. James (1972) relied on this very point, in holding that college students who hold extreme views (there, again leftist views) are protected even against far lesser penalties than expulsion. This wasn't abstract theorizing: This was practical calculation based on the experience of preceding decades, experience that seems fully applicable today. It's too bad that so many are forgetting it now.

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  1. it’s a shame university of alabama doesn’t have stock; it would be a good target for shorting right now.

    1. Why? Making that campus safe for racists seems likely to be good for business in Alabama.

      1. Abiding by the first amendment is good business for democracy, but you ain’t down for that.

        1. Don’t mind the good reverend. He’s just frustrated that the world isn’t as intelligent and enlightened as he is.

        2. Bigots have rights, too, I always say.

      2. Actually it’s making it safer for free speech, which is something we should be encouraging in youth rather than protecting them like melting snow flakes all the time. They need to know that these pieces of shit are out there and not just in hick towns in the Ozark Mountains.

        1. Do you contend that Alabama is not a hick state?

          1. “Freedom of speech requires us to allow the expression of offensive views, abhorrent views, dangerous views, yea, the views of Communists, the ideology of our nuclear-armed enemies; even these are immune from state censorship.”

            “Are you saying, good sir, that the defendant is not a Communist?”

            …..

      3. According to the nbcnews link story the gal said, among other things, “I don’t care if it’s Martin Luther King Day,” she says. “N—-r, n—-r, n—-r. I’m in the South now, b—h. So everyone can f–k off. I’m from New Jersey, so I can say n—-r as much as I want.”

        Another damn yankee making arrogant assumptions about what’s acceptable in Alabama.

        1. Would decent, patriotic Americans have enabled Alabama and other former Confederate states to resume statehood had they known that Alabama would continue to constitute such a moral, economic, political, cultural, and educational drag and stain on our society into the current century?

          Imagine an America with no senator from Mississippi, no electoral vote from South Carolina, no House member from Alabama. Instead, we would have a string of unincorporated territories along our southern border.

          Would the Civil War’s betters have offered statehood to the lesser had they known how the situation would develop over the next 150 years? I doubt it, but I don’t fault those guys too much — they beat the bigots when it counted.

          1. “Imagine an America with no senator from Mississippi, no electoral vote from South Carolina, no House member from Alabama. ”

            I shudder to think what that would enable.

            Our current system may have plenty of bigoted, authoritarian politicians, but at the very least it has two tribes of them who don’t like each other very much. Deleting one merely empowers the other.

        2. Thereby confirming my personal experience, as a former NJ resident, that there are a lot of bigots in NJ.

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  2. I continue to be amazed by the apparently large number of college administrators who either don’t have a clue about the First Amendment or don’t think it applies to students at state-owned schools. Supposedly, such people are highly educated, yet their actions are more like those of high school drop outs.

    1. They are afraid of people painting them as racist too. Safer to virtue signal.

      1. Its not like the Alabama president will suffer personally if the expulsion is later overturned by a court.

        1. Precisely — the university administrator(s) are unlikely to face any real penalty for infringing upon the students’ rights and, as a comment below notes, “the time and cost involved in [challenging the administration’s decision] might well be prohibitive and the continued damage to one’s reputation done by continuing to remain in the public spotlight [by] pursuing such a case is a disincentive.”

          So, now what? How do we reign in the employees of public universities (and similar quasi-governmental entities effectively beyond the reach of the electorate) who wantonly trample upon guaranteed rights?

          1. One idea, mandatory minimum civil penalties, non-dischargeable by bankruptcy, for civil rights violations. Mandatory payment of attorney fees if found guity of violating civil rights. Require a finding the violation was in the face of a clear law or precedent. So a novel violation of someone’s rights might not trigger it.

            Start them at $150,000 for trifles such as stifling free speech. Illegal searches $300,000. In cases where it is both an institution and a person a found responsible make them individually and severally liable by a matter of statue.

            The plaintiff can then decide if they wish to destroy the individually or not.

            Double the penalty for each appeal they lost. But such doubling only applies to the party appealing. So college appeals the award and loses, they incur 100% of the obligation for the increase.

          2. mydisplayname: “How do we reign in the employees of public universities (and similar quasi-governmental entities effectively beyond the reach of the electorate) who wantonly trample upon guaranteed rights?”

            You do it the way the civil rights movement did it. You get some deeper pockets to fund your lawsuits, force the universities to pony up to defend their actions, and publicize, publicize, publicize when they lose.

            For the long view, you work to build a free-speech coalition (I wouldn’t invite the neo-Nazis to join) that is willing to march/demonstrate/petition. If you’re “lucky” (in one sense) the antifa thugs will crack a few heads and you’ll capture it on videos.

    2. I live in Alabama and consider myself a conservative-leaning libertarian. I’m torn on this issue – on the one hand, I see the “free speech” side of the issue. On the other hand, free speech doesn’t mean “no consequences” – it means that the government will not arrest and put you in jail. This is somewhat akin to the NFL player kneeling – although they have a constitutional right to to do so, without fear of government intervention, there could be consequences regarding their employment. Moreover, I work for the federal government – I guarantee you if I said these same words repeatedly at work in the presence of others, I would be reprimanded and ultimately fired if I continued to. I don’t see this as unreasonable policy.

      1. I am quite fine with the sorority kicking her out. That was quite right and well within their rights. The public ridicule is all well and good.

        However, a state school is the government. As long as it was not a threat against anyone or an actual crime, it’s not within their authority to expel her.

    1. Contracts restricting the dissemination of confidential information are generally valid and a breach of such agreement can lead to civil liability. There is also a common law duty of loyalty owed to the employer not to compete with the employer without permission. There are also statues addressing misappropriation of trade secrets.

      There are also theft of trade secrets statutes which create criminal liability. And there are times where misappropriation of trade secrets should subject the employee to criminal sanctions. IMO leaking user data to the press is probably not a criminal violation since this data is not for the economic benefit of any other party. If they sold this information to Daily beast, it might be a different story. And regardless, it is almost assuredly a breach of contract.

    2. It’s telling that Snapchat lawyers make broad threads, but don’t cite an actual law.

  3. Few things are unconditional. Your enrollment at a university (even a public one) for example? Is conditional on your ability to pay tuition, your ability to maintain certain academic goals (ie, getting put on academic suspension) and yes, your ability to follow the Student Code of Conduct.

    And it’s not like y’all don’t know this. If this was an employee, even at a government agency, there would be no question that you could fire someone for being a racist asshole. Because the First Amendment guarantees freedom from government censorship, it does not guarantee you a job or a college education.

    So this racist student? She’s perfectly free to keep on being racist. She’s perfectly free to post whatever odious videos she wants. And the voluntary associations she has sought and made are free to sever ties and drop her like a bad habit.

    1. A public university is part of the government so under current precedent it is bound by the 1A as incorporated by the 14A.

      “If this was an employee, even at a government agency, there would be no question that you could fire someone for being a racist asshole.”

      Government agency employees have [somewhat limited admittedly] 1A rights so this is not a correct statement of the law either.

      You understand that if they can punish speech you don’t like, they can punish speech you do like too.

    2. The problem with the “Student Code of Conduct” argument is that it implies that a government institution such as University of Alabama may use such a document to require a waiver of constitutional rights as a condition of enrollment and receiving an education.

      Would you be so ready to make that argument that a student may properly or constitutionally be expelled if the Student Code of Conduct included as a grounds for expulsion:
      1) Being a member of the Communist Party of any Communist front organization.
      2) Interracial dating or marriage.
      3) Practicing the Mormon faith.
      4) Being a member of the National Rifle Association.
      5) Having an abortion.
      6) Engaging in homosexual relations or marriage.
      7) Failure to stand for the National Anthem or say the Pledge of Allegiance.
      8) Registering as a Democrat or voting in the Democrat primary.

      I think that any reasonable person would agree that expulsion for these constitutionally protected activities would be unacceptable. Why, then, are you prepared to allow for expulsion for the constitutional expression of beliefs or attitudes that you find offensive?

    3. Your enrollment at a university (even a public one) for example? Is conditional on your ability to pay tuition, your ability to maintain certain academic goals (ie, getting put on academic suspension) and yes, your ability to follow the Student Code of Conduct.

      Do you understand that you wrote this in a thread after an expert in Constitutional Law already told you you were wrong?

    4. A public university should be a place encouraging freedom of speech; even if it is raw sewage spewing out of the mouth of racist cunts spewing racist bullshit like this dreg of humanity. They should let other students know that this kind of tripe exists rather than try to protect them. Hiding racism has never fixed it, letting the piece of slime show his true face and get spit on by the student populace would be a lot better than letting him linger in his parent’s basement. It might convince him what a failure of humanity he is currently and make a change for the better.

    5. I agree with your position. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

      1. BTW, I was replying to EscherEnigma.

    6. ” And the voluntary associations she has sought and made are free to sever ties and drop her like a bad habit.”
      A public university is not a voluntary association. Hence your entire argument is inapplicable.

      To be taxed for a benefit that you will be denied on the basis of your speech IS censorship.

  4. I presume EV has contacted the school; please do a follow up if additional information is provided.

    Assuming that the student was expelled and such expulsion is indeed unlawful, is it likely that the student would have access to a remedy that would make it worthwhile? Or would the school be shielded through some sort of immunity?

    1. There would be no immunity for the school, and it is unlikely that the president would be shielded by qualified immunity. After all, as the Supreme Court noted 75 years ago in West Virginia SBOE v. Barnette, “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” Thus it is clear that the school cannot prescribe, and the president cannot enforce, an orthodoxy on racial opinions and the expression thereof.

  5. I was hoping your link backing up your claim was actually that, but it’s just a link to yourself.

    Boren did expel the racist frat guys and apparently the law was cool with it.

    1. And here lies the problem — the young men in the Oklahoma case chose not to attempt to vindicate their constitutional rights in court. Similarly, it is unlikely that this young woman will do so.

      Why? Because the time and cost involved in doing so might well be prohibitive, and the continued damage to one’s reputation done by continuing to remain in the public spotlight in pursuing such a case is a disincentive to doing so.

      1. In the case of this girl, whether or not she’d win, she’d be an idiot to ever go back there. I’d suggest that anyone with the same name as her should forget thinking about going there for the indefinite future.

      2. “the continued damage to one’s reputation done by continuing to remain in the public spotlight in pursuing such a case is a disincentive to doing so”

        She could do a Jane Doe suit.

    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boren

      I have no idea what you’re referring to

    3. EV was nice enough to link directly to an expert analysis backed with citations and you ding him because the link is his own analysis? EV is an expert on these matters and experts do frequently cite themselves.

      You can check out Papish v. Board of Curators, which is one of the cases EV is talking about.

  6. We might have a better world if only our elites had the ability to distinguish good from evil, or ideas from intimidation for that matter.

    1. Yeah, those billionaire elites… they feel entitled to grab whatever they like and then threaten lawsuits if you speak up.

  7. Wow EV, you’re really letting it all hang out now that you’ve moved to Reason, aren’t you?

    1. (referring, jokingly but seriously, to such repeated use of the use-mention distinction in mentioning slurs and vulgarities that WaPo emphatically would have forbidden, going from their extremely circumspect reporting on this, to the point of not even explaining which slurs and vulgarities were used)

    2. Also, in case anyone didn’t know, Reason’s comment platform apparently truncated comments that contain at least some emoji – that was supposed to be one comment with a U+1F602 FACE WITH TEARS OF JOY combining the first and second halves. Boo-urns!

    3. It’s hard to tell. The proprietor has censored “cop succor” (describing those who provide slobbering succor to abusive police officers and Fourth Amendment-ignoring law enforcers) before, but it appears he will not only tolerate but also use “nigger” currently. Let’s see whether “cop succor” has survived the move to Reason.com.

      1. At Reason a copsucker is just called a copsucker.

        No need for wapo PCisms.

        Welcome to free speech. If you had a free mind, you’d appreciate it.

        1. It was not the Washington Post that censored ‘cop succor.’ It was right-wing political correctness, Volokh Conspiracy-style. Your comment consequently is daft.

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  9. How long has it been since those cases were decided? 40-50 years? How much time was there between Plessy vs Ferguson and Brown? Maybe 60 years?
    The Supreme Court and constitutional law experts will likely soon agree that it is again time for a re-evaluation of these obsolete cases. Such positions were useful when dealing with left-wing radicals, Vietnam War opposition, and pornography. Society has changed a lot over the past 50 years. Now that unconstrained free speech has done every possible damage to bourgeois society it can do, it has outlived its usefulness to left-wing causes and it is time to rethink it.
    What was once a mainstream and fashionable view will be depicted as eccentric, cooky, or racist. People who are supposedly in favor of free speech, like Professor Volokh, will be judged by how much their free speech advocacy benefits left-wing causes and anti-racism. Individuals who do not see the necessity to get wholeheartedly on with the program will be painted as Faulkner once was — still great for their early contributions to the cause, but regrettably out of touch with the times.

    1. …You think the Supreme Court and constitutional academics are a decades-long Communist conspiracy?!

      Speculating your side into future victimhood is alluring, but does not lead to sane places.

    2. Quote from the Supreme Court’s June 2017 decision in Matal v. Tam: “Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express the thought that we hate.”

      So, to answer your question of how long since those cases were decided — about seven months.

      1. Plessy vs Ferguson was also reaffirmed several times before being finally struck down.
        Even if it’s reaffirmed 100 times and only struck down once, it’s having the last word that matters.
        Once the zeitgeist changes, there is no going back. What was once reasonable will be seen as unreasonable. This is why people so often repeat these days that “hate speech is not free speech”: to establish expectations. In one more decade, this will be common sense and arguments to the contrary will seem beyond the pale.
        After all, many other constitutional rights are more tightly regulated. The US are an outlier.

        1. Doesn’t the reversal of Plessy prove that once the zeitgeist changes, you can absolutely go back?
          Dumb people believing a dumb thing and talking about it is not a secret effort to program society. Don’t chalk up to evil what can just be stupidity.

          You seem very apocalyptic in your predictions, but back it up mostly via speculation. Fight the fights you can now, not some phantom for in the future – lighten up!

  10. This action is just self dealing. The university is filled with totalitarians that travel under whatever nice sounding name they can still get away with using. A LOT of government funding is now threatened by the unexpected loss of Hillary. They are frantically trying their best to shut down any dissenting voices, trying their best to keep their disgusting coalitions intact. Self dealing for their cushy “jobs”.

  11. Honestly, I can’t imagine why an administrator would want to do this. Sure, it gets rid of an embarrassing situation. But, if this stands, I can’t see where the Alabama legislature can’t hold the the university president responsible for anything that is said by any teacher or student. At this point, if a radical student declares “Wypipo are scum!”, the university’s failure to similarly discipline that student is now a tacit endorsement by the university.

  12. I personally think posting such a rant comes under the heading of abusive public behavior and abusive public behavior ought to be grounds for expulsion from even a publicly funded institution. I would include public urination or defecation, public sexual behavior beyond holding hands, extreme public drunkeness, exposing of private parts, vandalism, threatening behavior, public fighting and public cursing. I think that liberty requires institutional enforcement of norms of behavior in public. Let the girl get an on line degree.

    1. I think I speak for most here who are glad what YOU think doesn’t matter for shit.

      1. Neither does what you think matter, though to be fair you don’t seem to put a lot of thought into your name-calling.

        1. Actually, what Jimbo thinks DOES matter–as this quote from the SC attests

          Quote from the Supreme Court’s June 2017 decision in Matal v. Tam: “Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express the thought that we hate.”

          It is your censorious attitude that is derided, not Jimbos’

  13. What seems lacking in this argument to me is that everyone seems to be viewing this behavior solely through the lens of political speech. While racism might inform one’s political ideas, I wouldn’t call racism itself political. I would call it discriminatory. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but discriminatory behavior is treated much differently in school and work environments than political proclamations.

    Don’t schools have the same laws requiring them to maintain a safe and non-hostile environment as work offices do? If one racist comment can create a hostile work environment, I imagine several brazen racial epithets and outright declarations of hate would more than do the trick. Therefore, unless I’m mistaken in how these laws apply to educational institutions, it would be a violation of the African American population’s right to a safe and non-discriminatory educational environment to NOT expel this young lady.

    Am I incorrect in my understanding of these laws? Do they apply differently to public universities than to work spaces?

    1. Words are not deeds.

      Laws cannot trump the First Amendment.

      1. That might be your personal belief, but words qualify as a violation of the law according to its current legal interpretation. Imagine if someone routinely used racial slurs at a place of business, continued its use after being specifically asked to stop, and the HR department refused to take action after it being reported. That’s opening themselves up for a lawsuit.

        Again, under the law’s current interpretation, ONE racist statement is enough to create a hostile environment. Not deeds, words.

        I’ve worked in a supervisory position for years so I understand how this law applies to the workplace. Whether it’s a valid law is not the question. It is a law. It has not been struck down by the Supreme Court. Unless it applies to educational institutions differently, I can’t see how you could place the blame on the University for her expulsion.

        Perhaps you take issue with the laws themselves and feel they should be overturned. That’s your prerogative. But so long as they are still in place, businesses and schools both have a responsibility to comply to them.

        1. You are wrong…go away.

        2. Thanks for going into additional detail.
          You are absolutely correct that words alone can be actionable. But words are generally not nearly as actionable as deeds.
          More importantly, this distinction between words and deeds is explicitly in the First Amendment. This does not come up in places of private business, but it does come into play for public universities.

          1. According to ed.gov’s official website, all schools and universities, public and private, must comply with Titles VI and IX. This was my original point. Unless they apply in a different way than I am familiar with them operating whilst in a workplace environment then I don’t see how the essay writer holds much ground.

            If we’re objecting to the constitutionality of the law itself, that’s a different discussion entirely (and, as far as I can tell, not the point that was being made by Volokh.) But the legal argument of calling this a violation of their right to political speech is being lost on me. To the best of my knowledge, it falls under the category of discriminatory speech, and therefore the University is compelled to take action.

            1. It’s not the constitutionality of the entire laws, but rather how they are applied in the context of public institutions.

              Discriminatory speech is protected, I thought – do you have a case that says otherwise?

              1. I don’t, but I see what you’re saying now. I had misunderstood you in your last answer. Thank you for explaining!

                1. This is an interesting exchange, and I’m not all that knowledgeable about case law and precedent. I think the president of the university did the most effective political maneuver. As a supervisor, you’re in a position where you have to try to anticipate which choice will produce less outrage and basically just constantly run damage control. A comment above said that even if SCOTUS ruled that the student had a 1A right to be an ass, nothing would probably happen to the president. Dramatic rulings would be multiple years away, at least.

                  Whether that’s how it should be, I don’t think so. It’d be nice if the president could defend the First without having everyone think that it’s an implicit approval of racism, but I’d be inclined to save my own ass, just like the president did.

    2. Just like realestateacct above, you are wrong.
      How old are you, 20? I also used to be young & dumb once. Try to outgrow it, and soon.

      If you are older, then just FO.

      1. To declare someone wrong outright with no supporting argument is pointless, as is your hostility and condescension. Funny how you ask for my age when you’re the one acting like a child. I provided an alternate interpretation of the case based on my own professional experience and asked how it might apply to the views already expressed. Unless you can contribute to that discussion in a meaningful way, I’m not sure why you’d even bother commenting.

        1. You are a troll, a very bad one.

  14. But there’s a practical reason that the First Amendment forbids expelling university students for saying such things

    Educators necessarily need to be able to choose the students they want to teach. It makes no sense to force a fundamentalist Christian to teach a flaming homosexual, or to force a socialist to teach a libertarian, or a Jewish professor to teach a neo-Nazi: it’s offensive to the teacher, bad for the student and contrary to the mission of an educational institution.

    It’s unfortunate that a lot of our public universities have become left wing shitholes, but you aren’t going to fix that by invoking the First Amendment. And don’t kid yourself: those universities already select based on speech and political views in admissions; having a hissy fit over speech restrictions after admission is pointless.

    If we want to have functioning public universities, the only way to achieve that would be to force them to have ideological diversity among the faculty. I don’t see any practical way of doing that. The only real solution is to privatize universities.

    1. Educators necessarily need to be able to choose the students they want to teach.

      This in only indirectly true today, via choosing the institution you teach at.

      those universities already select based on speech and political views in admissions
      You have any proof of that? I know tons of high school Republicans who got in to college.

      And by tons I mean seven…I went to a small and liberal high school.

    2. “It’s unfortunate that a lot of our public universities have become left wing shitholes”

      It appears this commenter prefers conservative campuses — shackled by censorship, teaching nonsense, mired in the third or fourth tier of rankings, engaging in viewpoint-based discrimination in everything from hiring and academics to admissions — to the strong, reason-based, liberal-libertarian institutions recognized among the best in America.

      One would think that right-wingers would apply their ostensible principles to this situation and build a series of great, conservative schools to address this ostensible market failure and to profit.

      Unless there is something inherently weak about conservative-controlled campuses, and they do not because they can not . . .

      1. “It appears this commenter prefers conservative campuses — shackled by censorship, teaching nonsense, mired in the third or fourth tier of rankings, engaging in viewpoint-based discrimination in everything from hiring and academics to admissions — to the strong, reason-based, liberal-libertarian institutions recognized among the best in America.”

        Straw man. He never said that and never suggested that that university would have the attributes that you proclaim.

        How would a “conservative” university be shackled by censorship?

        What nonsense would they teach?

        Explain how would they engage in discrimination.

        These liberal-libertarian institutions you allude to, by whom are they recognized as the best? How do they measure that? By what they are doing now or historically? Do you consider a university that employs professors that teach their students that white people are evil to be a great?

        1. they would*

        2. The liberal-libertarian roster:

          Harvard, Yale, Penn, Michigan, Columbia, NYU, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Williams, Amherst, Princeton, Reed, and dozens like them.

          The conservative roster:

          Regent, Hillsdale, Wheaton, Liberty, Franciscan, Biola, Ouachita Baptist, Grove City, Ave Maria, Dallas, Ozarks, Brigham Young, and dozens upon dozens like them.

          The shackles: Enforcement of speech codes; rejection of free inquiry and academic freedom to protect dogma; teaching nonsense; suppression of science and history to flatter superstition; collection of signed loyalty oaths; imposition of authoritarian conduct codes; engagement in viewpoint-based discrimination in admissions, hiring (professors and janitors to librarians and basketball coaches), and academic administration; and (deserves another mention) teaching nonsense.

          1. The schools that do this–

            Enforcement of speech codes; rejection of free inquiry and academic freedom to protect dogma; teaching nonsense; suppression of science and history to flatter superstition; collection of signed loyalty oaths; imposition of authoritarian conduct codes; engagement in viewpoint-based discrimination in admissions, hiring (professors and janitors to librarians and basketball coaches), and academic administration; and (deserves another mention) teaching nonsense.

            are these–

            Harvard, Yale, Penn, Michigan, Columbia, NYU, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Williams, Amherst, Princeton, Reed, and dozens like them.

            1. Please continue to disparage and shun the liberal-libertarian mainstream schools, and championing the backwater religious schools, wingnuts. Your authoritarian, stale, right-wing views can’t be relegated to the fringe too soon.

              Carry on, clingers.

  15. The rule I take away from this situation is that if a student uses social media to say “I F***ing hate N******s” that they may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension. To err on the safe side is to not post that on social media.

    The rest of this post is just one persons attempt at analogical reasoning. Would a social media post that said “I find myself really frustrated lately with African Americans” be enough to trigger a disciplinary hearing and possible expulsion? What is it that is different between the former post and the latter post? There is, of course, one way to find out what is appropriate and what isn’t. Just start posting online and see what happens.

  16. Maybe this shows that Justice Black, as a practical matter, screwed up by being understanding of the Left Wing. It has now come back to haunt us. đŸ˜‰

  17. Why is slang for the color black in spanish, negro, racist?

  18. She reportedly posted a full retraction:

    “I fucking love niggers!”

  19. Mr. Volokh is supposedly a libertarian; Reason magazine calls itself libertarian as well. Which makes it puzzling to me that Mr. Volokh should write, and that Reason should publish, an argument that students at universities have speech rights that the government does well to enforce. I see no reason based on a strict examination of the parties’ competing rights that would deny any university from making whatever rules it wants for its students, who are after all in no way coerced into attending it. Undoubtedly a relative openness is thoroughly in the American tradition. But ultimately the problem here is not the university’s attempt to impose rules, but the government’s insinuation into education. If I invite you into my home and you insult me, I may choose to insist that you leave, and I would have every right to do so. In a free society, any institution would have the same right, unless it had chosen to give it up contractually.

    1. Probably most of us agree with that argument in a philosophical sense. We object to the use of public tax dollars to fund universities that violate constitutional rights. Rules such as Title IX only apply to schools that receive federal funding, but many private schools receive aid and are thus shackled by whatever regulations the feds currently fancy.

      All of this goes out the window for an independent private school. For all I care they can exclude whoever they want for whatever reason. Libertarians often make concessions for matters of civil rights even for private employers / universities. I don’t necessarily agree with them if I’m applying pure libertarianism, but they’re so overwhelmingly popular that rejecting them would completely obliterate our chances to win any election.

      If you choose to draw the line at pure libertarianism, great! Hard-liners keep us united on the core aspects and keep this movement focused on policies instead of talking heads. If you choose to move the line into the grey, then join the discussion about where is the best place to draw it to adhere to both the constitution and all the societal changes that have occurred since it was ratified.

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