Free Speech

New(ish) Lawyers in Santa Barbara Interested in Arguing a Fun First Amendment Cal. Superior Court Motion?

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

If you're a relatively junior lawyer in Santa Barbara, and you're interested in doing a pro bono argument in what I hope will be an interesting First Amendment motion in the Superior Court, please e-mail me at volokh at law.ucla.edu. Likewise, if you have colleagues or friends who might be interested, please have them e-mail me. The motion is already drafted, but not yet filed, so whoever argues it will have a chance to review it and edit it with me.

I'm a member of the California bar, and I can drive up and argue it myself; but I've had my share of arguments, and my sense is that many junior lawyers haven't, so this could be a good opportunity for someone.

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  1. Well, it can’t be this case because they quote you as saying it’s outside your speciality:

    “UC-Santa Barbara refuses to release syllabus for religion class, claims it’s ‘proprietary’…

    “Rajan Zed, the Nevada-based president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, claims that he wrote the University of California-Santa Barbara on several occasions, requesting details on the course “Dark Goddesses and Black Madonnas.”…

    “According to the online course description, “Dark Goddesses and Black Madonnas” explores “female deities and apparitions of the Virgin Mary historically depicted as dark-skinned.”

    “Offered this fall, the course places “particular emphasis on the role color has played in defining their attributes, relationships with religious practitioners, and ethnic or racial identities,” the description continues….

    “”Trivializing a highly revered Hindu deity and then refusing to divulge what was being taught in the course was highly inappropriate for a public university like UCSB,” he wrote in the initial email. Hinduism “should not be taken frivolously,” and symbols of any faith “should not be mishandled.””

    1. (The Hindu deity in question is Kali)

    2. You should read the article you linked more carefully. That case doesn’t even come close to fitting what EV described. It’s not a 1A issue at all, it’s a state open records law issue.

      1. I thought I covered that in the first paragraph. Volokh does First Amendment cases and says it’s not a first amendment case, which is kind of a clue.

        1. Be like Kali – have a heart!

          1. “Be like Kali – have a heart!”

            Do you want him to be wild, violent, and sensual as well?

        2. Why bring it up at all then?

          1. Because it amused me to do so.

    3. It’s weird that they aren’t willing to release the syllabus but I can’t say that they’re obligated to, either. It’s not like they should change their course in response to silly attention, and complaining that calling Kali “wild, violent, and sensual” trivializes a god who nearly killed everyone in her rage is definitely silly. It also seems more sensational, not trivial.

  2. An excellent opportunity.
    Please let us know how the arguments went.

  3. Good idea to get a local. The courts up there don’t always like it when an attorney from another county appears. Best of luck finding someone.

  4. Nice thing to do! Keep the conspirators apprised of how the new advocate proved his or her worth.

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