Free Speech

University of Miami Demands $7500 for Security for Free Speech Debate Involving Charles Murray [UPDATE: Dean's response added, post bumped up to reflect that]

That is what students at the University of Miami School of Law are reporting. [EARLIER UPDATE: The Dean tells me that things are more complicated than at first reported, and they're trying to see if things can be worked out; I hope to have more from the Dean in a few days.] [UPDATE 3/15: The University has agreed to pay the security fee.]


[UPDATE Mar. 15: The University has agreed to cover the security costs.]

[UPDATE Mar. 7: I've bumped up the post, which was originally posted Monday, Mar. 5, in light of the Dean's response; click on "MORE" to see the rest of the original post, the Dean's response, and my reaction to the response.]

The Federalist Society at the University of Miami School of Law is trying to put on a debate on free speech between political scientist Charles Murray and Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks, who has written extensively about First Amendment law. Murray, of course, is controversial because he coauthored The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, a book that suggested (among other things) that there may be some biological differences in intelligence between various racial groups. But perhaps because of recent attempts to suppress his speech—including a notorious violent attack at Middlebury College, in which Middlebury professor Allison Stanger was injured—he has also started talking about academic freedom (see, e.g., here). This particular event promised to be a serious, substantive discussion between two serious, substantive scholars.

But the University of Miami has been demanding over $7500 in security fees to allow the event to proceed; their quote called for 21 police officers plus 10 security guards, as well as a "team of bag checkers and wanders." Naturally, that amount is prohibitive for a small student group.

Now I recognize that security costs money, and that universities would understandably prefer to spend their funds on other things. And Miami is a private university, so they are not bound by any First Amendment constraints that would govern a public university.

But the university can't be blind to the practical consequences that such decisions lead to:

[1.] If people know that violence (or even just threats of violence) against speakers will lead universities to demand such security fees, and thus prevent the speakers from coming in the future, the result will be more such violence and threats. Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated—if exremists learn that such tactics work, we'll see more such tactics.

And these tactics will of course not just come from extremists of the Left. People who are willing to use threats to silence anti-Israel speech have already learned the lesson. Expect the same from some people who want to silence speech by positive biographers of Kemal Ataturk, and who knows who else. The Ataturk incident I referred to involved shouting down the speaker (a leading academic scholar of Turkish history), not threats of violence as such. But it shows that the appetite for suppressing such speech exists; if violence or threats become the key to such suppression, expect more of them.

[2.] Of course right now, the bulk of the suppression attempts on university campuses have come from extremists of the Left. If the universities effectively accede to that, rather than stand firm against it, the ideological monoculture at many academic institutions will just become more and more severe. That too can't be lost on the University of Miami administrators.

[3.] Finally, creating incentives to engage in violence doesn't just undermine free speech: It undermines the rule of law. What culture are we building if we teach people that thuggery pays?

This is why the Supreme Court has rightly rejected such heightened security fee policies for parades and demonstrations in traditional public fora (see Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (1992)). True, protecting speakers against violence means more costs for police departments, which are ultimately borne by the taxpayers—but it's a wise investment in preserving free speech and the rule of law. I hope the University of Miami reaches the same conclusion, and reverses its decision.

I called the law school dean's office to ask whether they had a statement on this, but they referred me to the publicity office, which said they didn't have any information at the time. [UPDATE: I've since spoken to the Dean, and she says things are more complicated than at first reported, and they're trying to see if things can be worked out; I hope to have more from the Dean in a few days.] I should say, though, that I much appreciate Prof. Franks' willingness to participate in the debate—she deserves a good deal of credit for that.

Here is the letter the Federalist Society sent to the law school dean; I'll of course be glad to report on any response if one is offered:

We have just received the proposed security cost estimate from the UM Police Department. We are surprised and genuinely concerned about the implications that this request has for this event, the Federalist Society, and the law school. We ask that you quickly clarify (by March 6th) that no such fee will be required. Otherwise you will be censoring free speech—more precisely a debate on free speech.

The total cost listed for security is a minimum of $7,646, guaranteed to increase with the hiring of additional wanders and bag checkers. This is unprecedented and obviously unaffordable for any student group.

Just as one example, last year, the co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Alicia Garza, gave multiple stand-alone lectures at our University at the invitation of Osamudia James, a professor at Miami Law. At the time, the BLM movement was developing into one of the most powerful and controversial interest groups our nation has seen in decades. Their activities received national attention on a daily basis by virtually every major news source. By that time, the group had been responsible for numerous high profile demonstrations that inflamed passions across the nation and on both sides of the political aisle.

This all goes to say that the co-founder of the BLM Movement was—at the time—a highly controversial figure in American politics. Her controversial nature is simply not debatable. Nonetheless, we are not aware of any security costs that were charged for her individual speaking events. That event was sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Division of Student Affairs, Student Life, Multicultural Student Affairs, and Housing and Residential Life. If security cost were in fact imposed, we would be very interested to find out the amount charged and who ultimately paid those fees.

This situation boils down to the following: The Miami Law Federalist Society is the only student organization on campus that has been required to furnish security fees prior to an event, and it is the most prominent libertarian/conservative organization on campus. The imposition of these security fees is sure to have a chilling effect on the Federalist Society's operations at UM.

Dr. Murray is an Emeritus Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a renowned political scientist, author, and public speaker. His groundbreaking scholarship was the catalyst that led to the comprehensive (and bipartisan) Welfare Reform Act signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton. Dr. Murray was a Peace Corps Volunteer, worked with US-AID in Thailand. He received his B.A. from Harvard and his Ph.D. from MIT. He is a decorated scholar, having been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Rhodes College and Universidad Francisco Marroquín. He has also been a recipient of the Irving Kristol Award, the Kistler Prize, and the Edmund Burke Award. He has published over 18 books and hundreds of academic articles. He is not a danger to the welfare of University students; he is not a speaker that warrants almost $8,000 in security costs. He is an elderly academic that poses no risk to the University's operations. The only risk he poses is upsetting the established norms of academic thought and behavior at the University of Miami. That alone does not justify levying these impossible costs on the Miami Law Federalist Society. These security fees are only setting a bad precedent at Miami Law that conservative/libertarian leaning organizations will have to pay to play whereas other organizations are entitled to explore ideas free of charge, indeed with support from the school.

This event is a debate on free speech and academic freedom. If it cannot be held at one of Florida's most prestigious law schools, where can it be held? By assessing unnecessary security fees against the inviting student organization in response to threats of disruption, you are effectively giving those who threaten the safety of campus a Heckler's Veto over any topic, speaker, or discussion that they are not comfortable with.

Rather than protecting your students, you are doing them a grave disservice by sheltering them from ideas that they have neither heard nor taken the time to fully understand. As future legal practitioners, students at Miami Law would behoove themselves to learn how to deal with unfamiliar and challenging ideas in a civil manner. We should not be encouraging our students to embrace emotional and intellectual frailty. Instead, we should be encouraging students to develop and exhibit mature adult traits, including the ability to listen and disagree courteously, or to simply exercise the choice not to attend events that may offend them.

If for any reason you cannot eliminate this fee, please let us know what the reason is for the fee and how this event differs from other events where no fee was charged.

UPDATE [Wed 3/7/18]: The Dean sent me this morning a copy of a letter that she sent the student group president yesterday:

As you know, it is often the case that when the University or a student group invites a speaker to campus there are associated out-of-pocket costs. These can include travel, a speaker's fee or honorarium, reception costs and, in some cases, security costs. These costs clearly vary by speaker with the result that some speakers are more expensive to host than others. When a proposed speaker's cost exceeds the inviting unit or organization's budget one of two things happens: either the unit or organization reaches out to secure co-sponsors to contribute to the out-of-pocket costs or it decides not to issue the invitation.

Another necessary task for any organizer is to secure an appropriate venue for the proposed event. In the case of a speaker for whom security may need to be provided, the determination of the need for security, the degree of security and which venues are appropriate, needs to be made by the University professional law enforcement officers. And, of course, fundamental to any event and venue is making sure that the venue is available on the date proposed for the event!

As you well know, you invited Dr. Murray on behalf of the Federalist Society to campus to debate Professor Franks this past fall. The event was scheduled to take place at the Law School in the only room here which the campus law enforcement officials thought appropriate for hosting an event which they had determined would allow them to provide the degree of security which in their professional judgment was prudent. That is certainly their call to make, not mine and not yours. You are also well aware that we were both surprised to learn the out-of-pocket cost of the required security. The amount considerably exceeded your organization's budgeted event amount and the law school's as well. Nonetheless, because you had already invited Dr. Murray, because the room was available on the date you had invited him for because that date was imminent and because both of us had failed to anticipate the cost of security, I told you that the law school would absorb the cost of the security.

Unfortunately Hurricane Irma struck Miami shortly before the scheduled event and the University was closed for 2 weeks, necessitating the cancellation of all classes and events including the Murray/Franks debate.

In the meantime you scheduled 7 additional Federalist Society events on a variety of topics to occur throughout the course of the year. None of these has been deemed to require security and each falls comfortably within the budget of the Federalist Society. You have much experience securing an appropriate and available venue for speakers and debates.

With full knowledge that the Murray/Franks debate had been deemed to require security and that only one law school room and only a very limited number of other rooms on campus had been deemed by the campus police as potential venues, you scheduled Dr. Murray and Professor Franks for a specific date and time. You never satisfactorily confirmed that any of the venues was available. When you learned at the outset that the single law school room had been previously scheduled, you secured a room which had specifically been designated by campus security officials as unsuitable—all the while not revealing to anyone that the event you were scheduling was the Murray event—hiding it under a generic "Discussion/Debate" rubric. Because you had taken no action to check the availability of the few acceptable other campus venues, the law school staff did and we discovered that all had prior reservations.

Although you have not asked us to, we will arrange to make our one acceptable room available for the debate. It behooves you now affirmatively to solicit potential sources for help with its cost. Potential sources include the law school, the Provosts office, University Student Affairs, LAFAC [the Law Activity Fee Allocation Committee], and other student organizations as well as the Federalist Society itself. I expect you to contact me tomorrow about logistical details.

I also spoke to the Dean at some length, and she added that the $7500 figure quoted in this case was for a particular room elsewhere at the campus, which posed an especially complicated security problem; the total, she reports, would be considerably less for the room that the Dean's Office is now suggesting at the law school.

Here are some of my thoughts on the security fee policy (a separate issue from whether the student group had acted properly in its attempt to book the Spring event):

(1) The University of Miami policy is that student groups must raise funds for the various costs of bringing out a speaker—including security costs, which may vary by speaker, in those rare cases where the university thinks security would be needed.

(2) Sometimes the law school, the provost's office, the university student affairs office, or law school student government (via the Law Activity Fee Allocation Committee) may help pay for the various costs, including the security costs, though that is within their discretion. The students can also raise money from other sources, including other student groups, if those are willing to help.

(3) For the Fall event, the Dean was surprised about the university policy requiring student groups to cover the security costs; she therefore volunteered to pay the security bill for that event, as the letter notes. That, though, was an exception from the general rule, because of the surprise.

It thus appears that the University of Miami does have a policy of charging students security fees for those speakers that are seen as potentially drawing a violent response, and thus needing special police protection. Those fees may be paid by the university, the law school, or student government in some situations—but that is a discretionary decision that the university would make on an event-by-event and speaker-by-speaker basis, and student groups would often be expected to try to raise part of the money themselves.

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  1. I, for one, would like to hear what they have to say about the issue under discussion, not a preliminary argument about free speech. Why don’t they find a quiet place, record themselves going at it and then blast it out on the internet so that the actual discussion can be heard?

    1. Why should they have to act in a different manner from other speakers or panels at the University?

      1. Same reason salman rusdie had to watch his back for a decade. He wasn’t ready to martyr himself for his cause.
        We all know violence when we see it. The ‘violence’ is not words or ideas, rather it is the physical assault of those who lack the ability to coherently rebut an idea they do not like. So like an infant, they throw a tantrum.

        1. They should watch their backs because of irrational people but to JesseAz’ question, they shouldn’t have to.

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  2. I agree with this. It seems wrong to require the Federalist Society to cover these costs.

    I also wonder if the security arrangements can be improved without such high (very high, almost Scott Pruitt level) costs. Don’t allow bags and you don’t need bag checkers, do you? Give out advance tickets on some basis – law students and faculty first, then first-come first-served maybe, and you can limit attendance to the capacity of the venue.

    Anyway, I think security is the university’s responsibility.

    1. It certainly says a lot about the University of Miami’s student body that the school believes they are so lacking in cognitive ability and impulse control that dozens of security agents are needed to keep it from turning into a riot.

      1. Its the “U”. Felony assault is in their DNA.

        1. The 80’s called and want their jokes back.

          In 2007, the Wall Street Journal ranked UM’s business school at 16th best in the nation.

          1. Yes, I’m sure they’re worried about 40 year old alumni assaulting people there.

            Now, their actual relevant ranking is #46. And that’s not bad! They’re not Memphis, let alone a directional state. But your post was still terrible

            1. “40 year old alumni ”

              Those are still in prison.

      2. It is one of the most diverse schools in the country. Obviously people are going to be offended when a speaker tells them that their race is stupider than another.

        1. Aside from what you said not being the topic of the speech, what you said is also not justification for violent attacks on random or specific people, which is the worry here

          1. and your implicit claim here is that the people he’s suggesting are less intelligent are so unreasonably violent they’ll assault people for mentioning scientific facts. which, you know, makes you the racist

            1. In a conversation about free speech, do you really think a provocative writer is not going to provoke to prove his point? Saying things that toe the line of free speech is exactly what he is going to do.

              Where did I justify assault on anyone?

              re: “my implicit claims” – Nowhere did I state or imply that the people hes saying are less intelligent are unreasonably violent. That is your attempt to discredit my argument.

              1. Why else would the University of Miami need extra security just because some people might be offended? Reasonably violent people don’t get violent merely because they are offended, only the unreasonably violent ones do.

                Of course, I suspect most of the violent protestors (if any) won’t be members of the groups allegedly disparaged by Charles Murray, just like they weren’t at Middlebury.

              2. Stop being so ignorant of what the man says if you’re going to continue to talk about this. You look ridiculous.

            2. “Where did I justify assault on anyone?”

              I didn’t say you did, of course, I said you anticipated it. If I say “KKK people are going to beat up that black man on a date with a white woman” am I justifying it? Have I broken it down into simple enough words for you?

        2. Obviously people are going to be offended when a speaker tells them that their race is stupider than another.

          False, the overwhelming majority of students who discover that they belong to a stupider-than-another race are not remotely offended by the discovery. For they appreciate that the stupidity of their race says nothing about their own stupidity.

          For those who are offended, what says something about their own personal stupidity, or to be kinder, callowness, is that they should take offence at such things. Part of the mission of a real university is to teach the young, who know little about the world, to learn to substitute callowness with wisdom – that the proper reaction to being confronted with an unwelcome fact, or claim of fact, is not to take offence, but to consider the fact or claim of fact on its merits. To accept it or to refute it based on its reality not on its umbrage generating qualities. “And yet it moves.”

          And if it is true but unwelcome, to reflect on whether it might be possible to change it.

          1. You make claims. Where is your support?

            What you’re saying – if a group of black people is told they are dumber than a group of white people solely because they are black, they, along with a majority of black people, will rejoice.

            I highly doubt that groups of people will not take offense to disparaging statements about their group.

            1. Have you actually read Murray’s work? Or just the Media Matters notes on the matter?

            2. Are you from the race that scores highest in IQ tests ?
              If not, are you offended ?

            3. What you’re saying – if a group of black people is told they are dumber than a group of white people solely because they are black, they, along with a majority of black people, will rejoice.

              Hey, it’s you Cathy !

              What group of black people is being told they’re dumber than what group of white people ? Surely you can’t imagine that a claim about IQ scores across the general population tells us anything about IQ scores in college students who are selected by reference to intellectual ability ? With all due allowance for the standards of education in American public schools, we can’t, in charity, imagine that groups of college students are that dumb.

              Murray’s claim in the Bell Curve (or one of them) is that the average IQ score for folk who identify as black is lower than the average score of folk who identify as white. You decided to use the words stupid and dumb – Murray confined himself to reporting IQ scores. This claim about IQ scores is hardly unique to Murray. Nobody disputes it. There are certainly plenty of different interpretations put on it by various folk but that’s a different question from the scores themselves.

              1. I could check my copy of The Bell Curve, but I’m pretty sure Murray didn’t say anything about what people identify as. He was writing about what they are.

                This has nothing to do with?Rachel Dolezal.

                1. I don’t have my copy to hand, either. But I am reasonably confident that the authors do specifically address the question of “how do you categorise people into races for the purposes of this Chapter discussing IQ and race” and they answer it by saying something along the lines of “we have made no attempt to look behind what people fill in on their form when they take the test.” ie they are relying on tests where the participants are given a race box to tick. Although the word “identify” may not be used, I think it amounts to the same thing.

                  So, no, I don’t think Murray is putting people into race categories on the basis of his estimation of “what they are.”

                  But I am happy to be corrected by anyone who has a copy of the book to hand.

                  1. The difference between “identify as” and “are”, is that while you might use proxies such as what box they tick to determine what they are, you understand that it’s the latter you’re actually interested in.

                    I located a searchable PDF of The Bell Curve, and checked every instance of “identify” in it. There were 59 occurrences.

                    I found one where a study referred to people who “identified themselves as” Jews or Christians. Which is not quite the same concept as “identifying as”, but I’ll concede that one, since short of excommunication, there’s no way to say that somebody is objectively wrong about that sort of thing.

                    Other than that, there were no instances I could find of the modern practice of treating what somebody says they are as the end of the matter. It was just used as a proxy for the underlying objective reality.

                    1. “Other than that, there were no instances I could find of the modern practice of treating what somebody says they are as the end of the matter.”

                      Well since it’s going to be easier to collect data based on self-reported race by test-takers, rather than physically examining all test takers, or having them perform a 23 and Me test, it’s almost certainly the case that data in The Bell Curve is based on self-reported race rather than case-by-case proven race.

                      Caveat: There might have been some military studies included where the test takers were categorized beforehand by the military, maybe on a visual basis. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book. But most of the data is going to come from people volunteering to take IQ exams, standardized tests, etc., if memory serves.

                    2. Right, I just wanted it clear that they weren’t indulging in the modern “identifying as” fad. They were concerned with what people were, and only regarded what they identified as, as a proxy for that. Not the thing itself.

                      The Bell Curve was a quite good book, and well worth reading for anybody who’s only been exposed to accounts of it, and not the book itself.

                      Their primary concern, IIRC, was actually the social effects of sorting by IQ due to effective meritocracy. The race thing was quite overblown, but I guess it’s one of those things where you’re not allowed to actually acknowledge objective reality, so they had to be punished.

                    3. Their primary concern, IIRC, was actually the social effects of sorting by IQ due to effective meritocracy. The race thing was quite overblown..

                      I believe YRC. I think they basically did 18 chapters deliberately only using “white” data, precisely so they could make all their points about the social effects of IQ without having to consider race at all. Then they added a final chapter with the race stuff in it, and concluded that – broadly – it was IQ that explained different social outcomes across different racial groups, in just the same way as it explains different social outcomes within racial groups. Low IQ people do worse than high IQ people, whether they’re black, white or something in between. I believe there was a small residual disadvantage for blacks, which might be actual racism at work. In short they excluded race from their main argument and then reintroduced it to show that racial disadvantage was mostly just a particular case of IQ disadvantage.

                    4. brett : The difference between “identify as” and “are”, is that while you might use proxies such as what box they tick to determine what they are, you understand that it’s the latter you’re actually interested in.

                      Sure, but if you rely on self report proxies, what you’re measuring is the correlation between IQ and self reported race. Since this was all pre Elizabeth Warren and Rachel Wotsit, you’d expect self report to be reasonably close to external observer report. But let us not forget that because the linguistic usage is to describe mixed race folk (where the mix is European and sub Saharan African) as “black” , “black” doesn’t really describe a genetically coherent sub population. So the meaning of “are” when it comes to “black” is fairly arbitrary. There clearly is an objective reality to genetically identifiable sub populations, but African Americans are a sufficiently complicated mixture that relying on anything at a higher resolution than self report would require tons of DNA testing.

                    5. Courtesy of Brett’s searchable link, here is the passage I was thinking of when I used the dread word “identify” :

                      “We frequently use the word ethnic rather than race, because race is such a difficult concept to employ in the American context.”‘ What does it mean to be “black” in America, in racial terms, when the word black (or African-American) can be used for people whose ancestry is more European than African? How are we to classify a person whose parents hail from Panama but whose ancestry is predominantly African? Is he a Latino?A black?The rule we follow here is to classify people ac- cording to the way they classify themselves. The studies of “blacks” or “Latinos” or “Asians” who live in America generally denote people who say they are black, Latino, or Asian-no more, no less.”

        3. It is one of the most diverse schools in the country

          Alabama and New Mexico are among the most diverse states. Doesn’t mean they’re inherently good.

          1. Neither of them is particularly diverse. One is almost entirely white and Latino, one is almost entirely white and black.

            1. Actually NM has higher Native American, average Black, much higher Hispanic/Latino which is over 50% of the State population, and much lower White non-Hispanic than US averages.

        4. People shouldn’t take offense to any statements about the average IQ of a group any more than they should take offense to a statement about the average height of a group.

          1. Wrong because while it is relatively easy to measure the height of many individuals in public even without their permission or knowledge (e.g. subway riders can simply walk pass marks on the wall where an observer can quickly check off heights), there is no wide-spread testing of IQs and therefore any statement will bound to be at the least incomplete and at the most false.

            1. I take it you haven’t actually read The Bell Curve ? Or if you have, your memory is not what it was. For if you had read it, and could remember it, you would recall that large chunks of the statistics are lifted from the Army’s standardised aptitude tests (which are a species of IQ test) which were applied across the board to recruits. And you will recall that there was once a thing called the draft. So these tests were applied to lots of people.

              It is true that IQ tests, per se, are not administered as often as they were – for legal reasons (yay for the science deniers !) – so they now masquerade under the labels of aptitude tests and such like.

              Moreover, because the statistical links between IQ and educational achievement, job success, criminal convictions (inversely) and so on has long been established it is possible to estimate IQ by observing the correlates even when you can’ make a direct measurement. So the equivalent of subway wall marks can be used for IQ too ! Of course since we are only talking about statistical correlation, you can only draw statistical conclusions, not individual ones. But ‘avergae” is not about individuals.

            2. “(e.g. subway riders can simply walk pass marks on the wall where an observer can quickly check off heights)”

              Yes, that’s clearly a scientific method of measuring heights. And we can totally just trust the observers racial categories too. Brilliant!

            3. “Wrong because while it is relatively easy to measure the height of many individuals…”

              I’m not sure why this would matter. It’s not that easy to determine the cholesterol ratio for individuals or racial groups, but I wouldn’t be offended to find out that another race has a better ratio, on average.

              If you don’t trust IQ tests, why would you be offended by the fact that IQ test results vary by race?

              1. I think the sticking point here is that, once you admit they do vary by race, you can’t justify using disparate impact as “proof” of discrimination, because simply meritocracy completely free from discrimination will produce disparate impact.

                So it becomes a big freaking deal, the whole civil rights community’s push to erase every divergence from strict numerical equality gets called into question.

              2. As I understand it, the claim made by the likes of Murray is that

                a. IQ measurements differ in significant ways among racial groups
                b. the tests are reasonable measurements of inherent cognitive ability.

                I think its eminently reasonable to believe a and not b. So it’s not a that’s offensive its the claim that a and b are true.

                Lee More argues that the statistical link between education level and IQ is evidence that you can indirectly measure IQ via education level.

                I’d be curious to know if there is evidence of this direction of causality. My understanding is that through education, you practice the tasks tested in IQ tests and thus improve measured IQ over time as a RESULT of having more education. (i.e. IQ testing is not a good measure of innate intelligence.)

                Lee implies that science deniers caused less IQ testing. But what legal reasons is he referring to. I is it not because the tests were shown to be a poor measure and biased depending on i.e. education levels (related to class and privilege)?

                And Brett, your argument ignores the fact that IQ measurements are not reliable measurements of inherent ability, but are effected by educational opportunities.

                To demonstrate that disparate IQ measurements demonstrate different inherent ingelligence levels among different groups, you would need to show the groups had equal access to education. This is clearly not the case for any level of schooling among different races in the US.

                1. As I understand it, the claim made by the likes of Murray is that
                  ?(b) the tests are reasonable measurements of inherent cognitive ability

                  Not quite. The factual claim is that the tests are good predictors of all sorts of life outcomes, and statistically, much better predictors than say, social and economic status of parents, which is a more politically popular predictor, but is actually not so good. From this factual claim one might infer, and many have inferred, that IQ tests measure inherent cognitive ability and inherent cognitive ability is the thing that helps you succeed in life. But that’s an inference. The factual claim is the statistical link between IQ and life success (education, money, health, family stability, staying out of jail etc.)

                  But en passant I’ll touch on your (a) too :

                  “IQ measurements differ in significant ways among racial groups”

                  Murray etc’s claim is that IQ measurements differ between individuals (as they do.) And that individuals who have high IQs do better in life than people who have low IQs. It turns out that there are, on average, differences in IQ between different racial groups. But Murray etc don’t have a special theory a to why groups of people who have low IQ (on average) do worse in life than groups with a higher average IQ. Because why they do is an inevitable consequence of the basic point that low IQ individuals do worse than high IQ ones.

                2. Lee More argues that the statistical link between education level and IQ is evidence that you can indirectly measure IQ via education level. I’d be curious to know if there is evidence of this direction of causality. My understanding is that through education, you practice the tasks tested in IQ tests and thus improve measured IQ over time as a RESULT of having more education. (i.e. IQ testing is not a good measure of innate intelligence.)

                  I wasn’t making any claim about direction of causation, only about correlation. If you have a high level of education you’re likely to have a high IQ. Consequently level of education is a good proxy measurement for IQ. The high IQ may have been there all along, or it may have been developed by exposure to education ? either way, by the time you take the measurement, the one correlates with the other. As to your own direction of causation, I think you are being overoptimistic. It’s probably true that a bit of practice ? say doing half a dozen IQ tests before you take the one that’s going to ne measured in earnest ? will help you achieve the best score you can manage. But more than that ? no, sadly there’s next to no evidence that more education generates more IQ. If it does, no one has worked out a viable IQ improvement program.

                  And there are other non trainable tests eg reaction time that are highly correlated with IQ scores. So the bad news is that a fair chunk of IQ is likely genetic.

                3. Lee implies that science deniers caused less IQ testing. But what legal reasons is he referring to. I is it not because the tests were shown to be a poor measure and biased depending on i.e. education levels (related to class and privilege)?

                  No. It’s because you have to pretend that your test is job specific, ie “reasonably related” to the job – Griggs v Duke Power. So you have to mix into a basic IQ test some questions that look job specific. And then you should be OK, unless the courts decide to flip the rule, so given the cost of lawsuits these days, you do it with due caution. But here’s the thing – you don’t want to know if your applicant is already familiar with the job in question – you can find that out from a resume or an interview. What you’re interested in is potential. So each job specific question will favor people with existing familiarity but low potential over people without existing familiarity but high potential. So the job specific questions are actually subtracting from your useful knowledge about applicants. Ideally you’d mix in job specific questions and then assign them a score of zero, and fall back on the pure IQ questions. Unfortunately your legal department will advise you that the court won’t buy that.

        5. It could be interpreted that the violence itself underscores Mr. Murray’s points.

        6. If you’re going to trash Charles Murray, you should at least first read his response to the SPLC absurd claims about him.

          They are here

    2. After what happened to Milo at Berkeley, and earlier at that school in Illinois, I think the student group would be crazy to pay the police for security even if they can afford it — because that security is much more likely to chicken out and cancel (or even close partway through) the event than to actually protect the speakers’ right to speak.

      Better that either the host group or the debate participants recruit some goons of their own and use them. At least Florida is a right-to-carry state.

  3. If the universities effectively accede to that, rather than stand firm against it, the ideological monoculture at many academic institutions will just become more and more severe.

    Bug, meet feature.

    That too can’t be lost on the University of Miami administrators.

    Nor is it.

    EV’s whole piece is a pretence. He knows perfectly well what the U of M is up to and why, and is trying to shame them into backing down. I predict that we will discover that they have no shame.

    1. Right.

      But the real answer to this is that the DoJ should start enforcing the anti-Klan acts. It’s a crime to forcibly prevent people from exercising their civil liberties, such as freedom of speech.

      They should contact the student groups, and quietly arrange for under cover feds to be present among the audience, and then do what the universities don’t want to do: Arrest the hecklers as soon as they turn violent.

      After the first few times that happens, you’ll see some major changes on our college campuses.

      1. “But the real answer to this is that the DoJ should start enforcing the anti-Klan acts.”

        The FBI and the bureaucrats at DoJ would never do this. It would take the AG or President to order it and it would be leaked immediately.

        1. That’s what special task forces are for. It’s doable, if they want to do it.

        2. The Deep State strikes against conservatives again. Right, Bob?

          1. Strikes? no, this is protecting their allies. and in this case, they’re pretty weak allies, so I’m not convinced he’s correct. But I’d quite happily bet against a naive bettor on this subject on the feds being less likely to intervene than expected.

            When are people like you going to call the SPLC out for its serial libels, anyway, bernard? (I bring this up because the topic is Murray, whom they have repeatedly libeled as a white nationalist)

      2. Arrest someone for heckling?


        First Amendment champion, are you?

        1. This implies that heckling is protected speech under the first amendment. Which it isn’t. It’s an attempt to prevent protected speech under the first amendment from being heard. By force. This is obvious from the fact that the content of heckles is irrelevant.

          “BUMBLE BEES ! BUMBLE BEES !” does just as well as “FASCIST PIG ! FASCIST PIG !” so long as it successfully drowns out the speaker.

          If the heckler has an opinion he wishes to express then he can easily hire a hall and speak as much as he likes. The fact that he wanders along to a hall that somebody else has hired, so as to interrupt the speaker demonstrates clearly the intent. Prevention of someone else’s speech, not speech of his own.

          If we can spot discrimination against Jews from bans on yarmulkes, we are not required to come over clueless when faced with shouting down masquerading as “speech.”

          1. Depends on the heckling, doesn’t it, Lee?

            Are you really claiming someone can be arrested – not just evicted – for shouting “bullshit” at a speaker?

            Is it a crime to interrupt a Communist speaker by yelling, “What about the gulag?”

            1. If it is in a private venue and not in public flora, yes.

              1. Bullshit.

              2. What is “public flora”? A national park?

              3. “If it is in a private venue and not in public flora, yes.”

                I can assure you it is not a crime for me to yell bullshit in my own house, even if it is intended to drown out another speaker.

          2. How is heckling not protected speech though, as long as it doesn’t go into unprotected territory? Your standard would let people say whatever they want, just not in response to other speech, if it is too vociferous against the first speaker. That can’t be the standard.

            It also bears repeating that this is a private school.

            1. How is heckling not protected speech though, as long as it doesn’t go into unprotected territory?

              This is kinda circular don’t you think ?

              bernard has quibbled that all heckling is not equal, and that is true. The boundaries of “protected” heckling are context dependent, much like the boundaries of protected punching. You can punch away to your heart’s content, unless you happen to choose to punch where my chin happens to be. Thus when you speak (or shout or chant) you interfere with the speech of someone else trying to say their piece. Who has dibs ? It depends on the context. On the street, the context is different from that which prevails in a hall which has been hired by the Colorado Butterfly Association for a speech by Professor Henry Toad on endangered butterflies. Prof Toad has dibs. In print, or in the electronic media, A’s speech will hardly ever interfere with B’s. (An exception might be where A erects a poster and B erects another one right in front of it.)

              All real conflicts as to dibs when A’s speech interferes with B’s can be resolved by the development of common law rules of dibs, just as with fists and chins. But when it comes to Murray and the like, we don’t need to bother with that because the “hecklers” aim not to speak but to prevent speech. They advertise their intentions in advance. These are not difficult cases.

              1. And yes, the University of Miami is a private school. The First Amendment reared its head simply because bernard mentioned it in the context of alleged hypocrisy.

                I’m sure bernard understands the difference between {heckling as an attempt to put your point of view when the other guy’s speech doesn’t, in context, have dibs} and {trying to prevent someone having their say, when they do have dibs, by turning up with baseball bats and motorcycle helmets.} The former is fine, the latter is not.

                But my point is that there is a middle case {heckling as an attempt to prevent someone having their say by shouting them down, or by disrupting their speech} – which activity most lefties think is perfectly OK because they have decided that it’s “non violent.” Consequently such hecklers should be allowed to heckle and after a while should be removed (very gently) from the hall, and be subject to no further punishment. But I disagree. Such heckling may not be “violence” but it is certainly “force.” The speaker is actually prevented from conveying his thoughts to the audience who have turned up to listen to him, by the shouting, chanting and heckling. No one has the slightest problem with this (crashingly obvious) analysis when it comes to music recitals, plays, poetry readings, court proceedings and the like. Nor would the universities stand for it for a moment if it were, say, President Obama who was the invited speaker.

        2. “Arrest someone for heckling?


          I don’t know. Let’s go back and look at what Brett actually said: “Arrest the hecklers as soon as they turn violent.”

          So no, not really.

          1. Look, it’s no fun if you have to be honest about the post you are responding too. bernard11 totally destroyed Brett Bellmore’s imaginary post, and here you are trying to make him feel bad about it. How rude.

        3. bernard11, you are, perhaps intentionally, distorting the magnitude and intent of these disruptions. They aren’t just “heckling.” They are coordinated efforts to drown out or other otherwise prevent the speaker from speaking. They often become violent. That’s not heckling, that’s a crime.

          1. True. I read too hastily. My apologies.

            But, JFTR, no. It wasn’t intentional, despite your implication of bad faith.

        4. In a hired venue such as a meeting all, the right to free speech of the people who paid for the venue absolutely trumps that of any would-be hecklers. If you disagree, you are one of the enemy.

      3. DoJ cannot arrest or prosecute hecklers for disrupting or assaulting speakers. SCOTUS held in United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners v. Scott, 463 U.S. 825 (1983) that 42 U.S.C. 1985(3), the civil damages counterpart to 18 U,S,C, 241, only applies to those acting under color of law who deprive an individual of the first amendment rights to free speech and free association, reasoning that the first amendment itself only protects against state actors. Needless to say, violent student protesters do not act under color of law. Griffin v. Breckenridge, 403 U.S. 88 (1971) permits claims or prosecutions against private actors only for intentional interference with the right to interstate travel and for the racially motivated imposition of badges and incidents of servitude since those two rights are protected by the constitution against private infringement.

        1. “violent student protesters do not act under color of law”

          When they are aided and abbeted by teachers and administrators of state universities they can be.

        2. I don’t think travel is the only federally protected activity that is encompassed.

    2. side note:

      U of M = Michigan
      UM = Miami

      1. “UM = Miami”

        Is the “of” silent?

        1. The ‘of’ is not considered. If you buy clothing or go down to south Florida, you will see ‘UMiami’ or ‘UM’ are the most common ways the school is referenced.

          1. What about UF PD acting as security?

            Don’t tase me bro.


        2. All else being equal, I typically use the neutral label preferred by the person or entity being referred to. In Seattle it’s UW (usually shortened to “U-Dub”) not U of W. In Boulder, CU, not U of C. In politics, the Democratic Party, not the Democrat Party.

          Common courtesy.

  4. Of course right now, the bulk of the suppression attempts on university campuses have come from extremists of the Left.

    The bulk of current censorship, suppression of academic freedom, collection and enforcement of loyalty oaths, imposition of speech and conduct codes, rejection of science, teaching of nonsense, viewpoint-based discrimination (admission, administration, and hiring of everything from professors to janitors and administrators to basketball coaches) and the like on American university campuses is the work of standard-issue conservative administrators on hundreds of conservative-controlled campuses.

    1. There’s Artie, right on schedule. Same tired response. At least you’re on topic for once.

      1. Do you ever tire of the Volokh Conspiracy’s incessant, misleading focus on precisely one side of the campus censorship debates? What about the repetitive declarations of ostensible need for our stronger schools to emulate our weaker schools by hiring more movement conservatives for faculty positions?

        1. Do you ever tire of being a trollish ass?

          1. Conspiracy fans’ preference for a snowflake-coddling, dogma-soaked safe space is noted, and derided.

            Carry on, clingers. More nipping at your betters’ (the strong, liberal-libertarian schools; the modern, successful, educated communities) ankles and whining about your inability to compete successfully in the marketplace, please.

          2. I don’t get the criticism of Kirkland’s comment.

            Is it inaccurate? EV made an assertion that Kirkland thinks is inaccurate, and he explained why.

            What’s wrong with that?

            Yes, it’s something he has said repeatedly, but EV’s assertion is not a one-time statement either. Neither are the various commenters’ slams at the institutions mentioned in EV’s posts.

            So it may be a “tired response,” as vinnie says, but then it’s also a “tired OP.”

        2. You are insufferable as always.

          1. As insufferable as the most recent half-century of American progress?

    2. That’s just like Hillary and Co. accusing Trump of collusion with the Russians, something he never did, and she did routinely.

      “hundreds of conservative-controlled campuses” – name five.

      1. Wheaton, Regent, Franciscan, Ouachita Baptist, Colorado Christian.

        Liberty, Hillsdale, Ozarks, Houston Baptist, Oral Roberts.

        Grove City, Biola, Ave Maria, Samford, Brigham Young.

        Cedarville, Anderson, Bob Jones, George Fox, Cornerstone.

        Patrick Henry, Benedictine, Geneva, Southeastern, Dallas.

        You should be able to handle the research from here. Focus on schools whose names include Southern, Baptist, South, Bible, Southwestern, Christian, or Concordia — any school whose name involves at least terms should be particularly suitable.

        1. ThePublius got pwned.

          ThePublius, You really couldn’t think of five all by yourself?

        2. Well/

          Name 5. That’s F-I-V-E “conservative controlled” campuses.

          You haven’t named one.

          You’ve named campuses that are not leftist controlled, but they’re not controlled by conservatives either.

          1. I think Liberty University would be surprised to hear you say that, since they advertise on being the most conservative college in America. See here.

            1. These yahoos are barely flailing. The facts are not their friends. Their thinking is shallow, their assertions lame, their arguments unpersuasive, their aspirations doomed.

              The market mocks them, in a manner amplified by their ostensible principles.

              They are left to whimpering about an ostensible lack of loud movement conservatives on our strongest campuses, without a clue or argument with respect to the lack of quality on conservative-controlled campuses.

          1. “Brigham Young”

            You mean the university with the professor who recently gave a speech in favor of evolution?

            1. “Hillsdale”

              You mean the college that has an annual oratory competition? Where in 2016 the topic was “Debate or Conversation? Liberty and Civility in Campus Discourse”?

            2. A speech in favor of evolution!!!

              Quite a concession to the leftist agenda.

              1. Call it what you will, it’s not “rejection of science,” which the rev attributed to the specific institutions he listed, including Brigham Young.

                1. Teaching creationism is rejection of science. Teaching that the earth is a few thousand years old to achieve congruence with a fairy tale is the teaching of nonsense. Dogmatic rejection of evolution to flatter superstitious tales is rejection of science. Prohibiting research with respect to stem cells, abortions, or contraception is suppression of academic freedom and science.

                  You are embarrassing yourself.

                  1. Which of the things you mentioned are done at Brigham Young University?

                    That was your accusation, wasn’t it?

                    1. Brigham Young University suppresses academic freedom — claiming its “institutional academic freedom” entitles the school to suppress academic freedom.

                      It is a backward, bigoted, censorship-shackled, discriminatory, conservative-controlled institution that is unworthy of first-rate accreditation.

                      If you are not familiar with the controversies establishing Brigham Young’s shabby credentials, why did choose Brigham Young for mention?

                    2. Because you seemed to make broad accusations against *all* the schools on your list.

                      Anyway, FIRE
                      lists BYU as an institution which “clearly and consistently states that it holds a certain set of values above a commitment to freedom of speech.”

                      As evidence, FIRE quotes from the sexual-harassment policy as well as the policy which I presume you are are criticizing as “censorship”:

                      “As a matter of personal commitment, faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University?Hawaii, Brigham Young University?Idaho, and LDS Business College seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will:

                      “Be honest
                      Live a chaste and virtuous life
                      Obey the law and all campus policies
                      Use clean language
                      Respect others
                      Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
                      Participate regularly in church services
                      Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
                      Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code


                      “Sexual misconduct; obscene or indecent conduct or expressions; disorderly or disruptive conduct; participation in gambling activities; involvement with pornographic, erotic, indecent, or offensive material; and any other conduct or action inconsistent with the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Honor Code is not permitted.”

                    3. And Mormon students have to stay Mormon on pain of expulsion

                      Observe that I am providing the evidence for your position which you decline to furnish.

    3. says the guy who not so long ago praised a bunch of Texan Christian schools for cracking down on freedom of speech

  5. An inevitable problem of schools not cracking down on thugs when they started disrupting speeches years ago. Now it’s going to cost the schools lots of money and make them lose court cases.

  6. If the University is concerned about security costs associated with on-campus semi-public events sponsored by student groups, perhaps they should charge the sponsoring group of every such event a pro rata portion (based on tickets issued, expected attendance, actual attendance, square footage, capacity of venue or other reasonable criteria) of the cumulative annual security costs for all such events. In exchange, the University provides the security (perhaps none in some cases) they deem necessary and appropriate.

    The exact events that would qualify as “semi-public” would require some definition. Perhaps events that are open only to members of the group or those specifically invited to (and therefore vouched for) by members would be exempt. Perhaps events open only to registered students who must get tickets with their student id (to help in identification if they cause trouble) would be exempt. Perhaps students identified as having caused trouble (violence and/or disrupting the event) at such an event within the past twelve months would not be allowed to attend ANY such event (even if they are part of the sponsoring group or specifically invited).

    This would give all groups, regardless of their political and social views, a vested interest in discouraging violence at all events and spread the costs of security across all groups as well as giving individuals a motivation to behave themselves.

  7. The primary function of any government is to provide defense from attack. If the state, of which UM is an arm, cannot provide such defense at no extra costs to its citizens, it has lost its credibilty and its legitimacy…

    1. What if the University is not an arm of the state? Eugene wrote: “Miami is a private university, so they are not bound by any First Amendment constraints that would govern a public university.”

      1. What if? No one has an obligation to pay to protect other people on their property unless they have contracted to do so

      2. Then one uses the policies and procedures of the private university however like any private organization, they cannot discriminate between students nor student groups.

      3. The government is paid to protect individuals from attack in private venues, at private events, as well.

      4. UM derives a considerable amount of its money directly from the state or almost all its money depending upon how you look at it. So it should not be off the hook by the same standard progs demand for any private entity interfacing with the government when it comes to antidiscrimination (for groups they cater to) rules.

  8. Can anybody provide a link to information about any incident(s) where a talk by Alicia Garza resulted in a violent confrontation?

      1. It would be relevant because her speaking at the University was cited as an example of differential treatment.

  9. I don’t agree that shouting down a speaker is the same thing as violently shutting a speaker down. Even if it’s unpleasant, shouting someone down is just an example of speech beating speech.

    1. So it wouldn’t be a First Amendment violation for white americans to shout down every minority trying to advocate for equal rights.

    2. No, it’s not. Speech beating speech is responding to a speaker’s point, in an orderly question and answer session, in a way that makes the audience realize your argument is better. Shouting the speaker down does not qualify.

    3. I think the concept to free association surely includes the ability to have an association for a particular purpose and to exclude those.

      It’s not legitimate for a group of Roman Catholics to enter a Baptist Church and start loudly reciting the Latin Rites.

      1. We’d be more likely to start loudly reciting the Nicene creed. Latin masses aren’t much of a thing in the Roman Catholic church these days.

    4. “I don’t agree that shouting down a speaker is the same thing as violently shutting a speaker down. Even if it’s unpleasant, shouting someone down is just an example of speech beating speech.”

      Something that’s often lost in these debates is that one of the main intents of the First Amendment is to permit the exchange of information. It’s not just about the speaker, or the writer. It’s also about the listener, and the reader. When jackasses shout down a speaker, they are taking it upon themselves to determine who the listener can hear. That’s not their choice to make. We may have to put up with the jackasses in a public forum, but the vast majority of these disruptions aren’t happening in public forums.

    5. Shouting down is not violence, by definition, but it is not acceptable.

      Event organizers have a right to set procedures, which may include time for audience comments or questions, or not, including various time limits. They may of course also ban interruptions during the speaker’s talk.

    6. “I don’t agree that shouting down a speaker is the same thing as violently shutting a speaker down. Even if it’s unpleasant, shouting someone down is just an example of speech beating speech.”

      Nope. Shouting someone down is an attempt to silence that person, to prevent their message from being heard, instead of engaging their viewpoints. Under certain circumstances, such as in a traditional public forum, shouting someone down might be an activity protected by the first amendment. But in other fora, like a place on campus reserved for the use of a particular speaker, violation of the rules of the forum can amount to suppression of speech.

  10. Prof. Franks, incidentally, is doing great work and should not be confused with the rest of the left of center snowflakes at UM Law.

    1. Prof. Franks, as anyone who reads Scott Greenfield’s blog knows, is an enemy of free speech herself.

  11. Lots of luck getting the U to help in any way with getting a speaker that doesn’t follow Frenk’s new hard Leftist political leanings. Go back and look at the graduation speaker that he brought in for the first set of Master’s/Doctorate candidates (who was actually boo’ed off of the stage by the parents) when he first arrived. The 100 days of listening was another show of who would be listened to (the LGBT and Trans community) and NOT the students who asked for more instructors and science funding. This is supposed to be a learning environment with all sides being represented, but has become another far Left bastion catering to students who don’t want the “other side” to have a say. What a shame.

    1. Your prefer conservative-controlled campuses, whose signature elements are ardent censorship; strenuous suppression of academic freedom and science; the teaching of nonsense; loyalty oaths; old-timey conduct codes; viewpoint discrimination in everything from admissions to hiring (janitors, professors, basketball coaches); third- or fourth-tier rankings; and sketchy accreditation, Freedom4?


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  13. [2.] Of course right now, the bulk of the suppression attempts on university campuses have come from extremists of the Left. If the universities effectively accede to that, rather than stand firm against it, the ideological monoculture at many academic institutions will just become more and more severe. That too can’t be lost on the University of Miami administrators.

    can’t= is absolutely to

    lost=unflappably desired

    There fixed that for you.

  14. Interesting. There’s a heckler’s veto, then a heckler’s impose-security-fees.

    Now there’s a heckler-by-proxy where a student group can troll the university by inviting controversial speakers that will invite heckler’s from another group of students.

    Fascinating how many layers we can go here.

    1. I think the next step is “university enforcement by proxy”, where the student group makes it known that it has arranged for undercover police not under the university’s control to be present to arrest anybody who violently disrupts the event.

      Perhaps they could arrange a gofundme to pay for the expense. I expect it would be a one time expense.

      1. Or better, doesn’t make it known, so that the very limited stock of violent ‘hecklers’ is depleted, and deterrence for future events is ensured.

  15. It always just happens to be ‘more complicated’ when it comes to conservative speakers the Universities don’t like. Mighty Zeus ensures things go more smoothly whenever a speaker they don’t mind wanders in.

  16. It seems like the campus police play a major role in determining the cost of security and the dean won’t question that determination. While the police are likely honest about the needs for the event, it does place too much power in the hands of the police for my comfort and has a major potential for abuse. Also, if these police are associated with the government, it could bring in First Amendment issues, which the school, as a private university, has so far avoided.

  17. [UPDATE: I’ve bumped up the post, which was originally posted Monday, in light of the Dean’s response; click on “MORE” to see the rest of the original post, the Dean’s response, and my reaction to the response.]

    I hope you realize how foolish the Dean’s response makes you look, Eugene.

    1. The Dean’s response reminds me of a prestidigitator’s hand waving. He’s may wonder whether you are a useful fool or not, but I doubt he’s proud of having you come to his defense.

      1. Yeah, it boils down to student groups being responsible for security fees, but the *may* ask the university to foot the bill, and the university *might* grant such a request.

        And bill is higher depending on the disruptive potential caused by potential hecklers.

        1. Which, in turn, is a product of whether or not the potential hecklers would anticipate serious efforts to identify and expel them.

          Since the University has already made known to potential ‘hecklers’ (There has to be a better term for people who violently shut down speeches.) that it has no interest in identifying them and imposing penalties if the speech is of a sort the University disapproves of, the potential for such ‘hecklers’ is quite high.

          But it is the University itself that has made it high, by its past actions. And it could lower it, simply by publicly stating that at a future event serious efforts would be made to identify and expel hecklers, and prosecute them if they engage in violence.

      2. I think the Dean’s letter reveals the bad faith with which the Federalist Society chapter has approached the dispute – an unfortunately common trait of campus conservatives – and the Dean’s own good-faith efforts to accommodate the debate on terms acceptable to the students and campus security.

        I mean, I could just call you a moron. Would that be more suitable?

        1. Suitable to your character and ability to argue, certainly

      3. So you know the dean is lying, and the Federalists are as honest as the day is long.

    2. How on earth does this make Eugene look foolish? I thought it made herself, and the University, look bad. How come the police get to decide who gets to speak where?

      1. I don’t know why the campus police would have specific security requirements for where the debate took place, but I also don’t know of any reason why I should be skeptical of the discretion they’ve exercised in this case. Do you, besides the fact that it would tend to lead away from your desired conclusion?

        1. History? Reputation? Weasel worded victim-blaming?

        2. You should be skeptical of any discrition that police take based on constitutionally protected activity. Suppose, for example, that the police decided that black, or gay speakers presented a particular security challenge. Do you suppose it would be OK for the police to say, OK, black or gay speakers can only use x, y, or z venues?

  18. Take notice my antifa friends, the underwriter’s veto can be leveraged to much greater effect than the heckler’s veto.

  19. “but that is a discretionary decision that the university would make on an event-by-event and speaker-by-speaker basis, and student groups would often be expected to try to raise part of the money themselves.”

    and thus the University “at its discretion” will make decisions based on content and it is up to the sponsoring group to raise funds from other sources or, fall in line and be silenced. If the speaker has the content the University deems in line with their perspective and thus not a risk, no charge. Deviate from the norm, and you will be charged.

    1. The dean’s letter specifically refutes this. But never mind the facts. You have your story and you are sticking to it.

      1. Disputes, not refutes. They are obviously capable of denying any speaker for any reason, as the administration does not provide any criteria for covering security costs. Further, you are a fool if you believe the administration is not left-leaning. They can and will refuse to pay for right-leaning speakers.

        1. They did not in fact refuse before the various compllcations. They offered to pay.

          You, apparently, are a fool who knows what he thinks, and refuses to believe anything that contradicts it. Not a good attitude for someone who wants to champion open debate.

  20. A couple suggestions for reducing security expenses.

    Make a few exemplary expulsions and prison sentences for disruptors.

    Then there will be fewer disruptions, hence lower security fees.

  21. The dean’s letter doesn’t do much to help the Federalist Society’s letter, or the Volokh Conspiracy’s content that relied on the Federalist Society’s letter.

    This increasingly appears to be another example of conservatives looking too strenuously for an opportunity to claim persecution on a liberal-libertarian campus.

    1. This “liberal-libertarian campus” nonsense you incessantly spout is tiresome. But carry on, clinger.

  22. The dean’s letter doesn’t do much to help the Federalist Society’s letter, or the Volokh Conspiracy’s content that relied on the Federalist Society’s letter.

    This increasingly appears to be another example of conservatives looking too strenuously for an opportunity to claim persecution on a liberal-libertarian campus.

  23. ” (a separate issue from whether the student group had acted properly in its attempt to book the Spring event):”

    Um, no. Unfortunately, I don’t think you can just walk that back after giving a platform to the UM Fed Society Chapter. Either the Dean is accurate, or not. And if the Dean is accurate, then the following is true:
    1. This debate had already been scheduled, and the Fed Society knew about the issues (including venue and cost). Moreover, the Law School had previously offered to pay for the balance of the security.
    2. The only reason it didn’t go forward was because of Hurricane Irma.
    3. The FedSoc, DESPITE KNOWING EVERYTHING IT KNEW, deceived the law school until the last moment in order to generate this outrage; in other words, the entire letter they sent is predicated on a series of lies.

    Back when I was in law school, I enjoyed working with the FedSoc and bringing in excellent speakers. Law School student groups are the lifeblood of a thriving campus. But if the goal of a chapter is to “trigger them libs” and try to make the press instead of, you know, inform the student body, then there is a real problem.

    That Prof. Volokh gave a platform to such …. a shameful and apparently transparent attempt to stir the pot isn’t a good look for him.

    1. I credit Prof. Volokh greatly for publishing the update. A lesser person would have moved along without acknowledging the problems.

      These are the problems that publication standards of legitimate journalism are designed to avoid.

      1. I appreciate that the published the update, yes. But it would appear this requires something a little more than a “He said,” “she said,” style of correction.

        Law students mostly turn into attorneys. For better or worse. And Prof. Volokh has a history of association with both free speech issues and the federalist society.

        The Fed. Soc. does, in fact, do a lot of good on law school campuses (or, at least, did when I was a student). I am more than a little angry that some rando tried to stir this kind of crud up without … you know … informing people of what really was going on.

        The whole part about it already having been schedule but then cancelled due to Irma was just the icing on the cake for me.

        1. I have attended Federalist Society events for many years. Most Federalist Society members I have encountered are well-meaning, pleasant conservatives.

          I sense that a number of Federalist Society members — probably those at higher levels, and/or the especially ambitious — are strident right-wingers ready to stoke a perception of persecution. Most Federalist Society members seem to carry at least a bit of the outsider’s chip and may be susceptible to claims of victimization.

          In this case, the problem appears to have been precipitated by poor judgment (and perhaps character) at the fledgling level on the Miami campus. Perhaps this incident will incline the Volokh Conspiracy to be more cautious about taking the bait of uncorroborated outrage from the Federalist Society.

      2. Publishing it gets him ten points. Ninety to go. Loki’s comment is absolutely right.

        Eugene’s gang behaved very badly, and he needs to say so.

        1. The young Federalists should have an opportunity to rebut or refute the dean’s letter before reliable conclusions about this episode are to be established.

          It’s not too early to comment on the coverage, however.

          I recommend that assessments of the Conspiracy’s performance take into consideration not only the record but also the asserted purpose of this partisan, often polemical, movement conservative blog.

  24. I love how the liberals here are impressed by the BS sprouted by this dean. I guess some people will believe anything.

    $7500 for “security” is just a figure pulled out of someone’s butt. Are they renting a tank from the National Guard?

    I especially like the “we can’t secure that other room” dodge she put out.

    These security fees and insurance requirements are always, repeat always, a pretext.

    1. Because you know better, right Bob? I guess Rush explained it to you.

      1. Please explain what possible “security” could go into $7,500?

        Pay for officers/campus security for a couple of hours is most of it. [Of course campus security already has a budget.]

        Maybe a portable metal detector.

        There is no way it reaches anywhere near $7,500.

        Use your head for once.

        1. Are you prepared to weave into your tapestry the dean’s original offer to fund the entirety of the $7,500?

        2. I don’t know. I’m not a security expert, and I’m not familiar with the issues at UM, are you?

          I agree it seems high, but commenting without more information is risky, as Eugene learned here.

          Besides, did you note that the dean too was surprised by the figure, which came form the campus police, and agreed to pay it for the event as initially scheduled. That makes it pretty clear, if you would use your head that the dean was not inflating the cost to get the event scheduled.

          But hey, don’t let facts bother you. You’re a conservative, after all.

          1. I researched security/insurance requirements years ago in law school for a professor. Then, they were used to stop left wing protests.

            Only the targets of suppression have changed, not the methods.

            1. And what does your years old research tell you security should cost in a situation like this, given your extensive knowledge of the circumstances at UM in the room campus security judged to be unsuitable to secure? If $7,500 is clearly unreasonable to secure a difficult to secure room, what is a reasonable range?

              Or where you just posting this reply to confirm that you are not prepared to let facts or lack thereof get in your way?

    2. Just don’t trust the people you don’t like, and fill in their claims with ones you prefer.

      Suddenly you are the most correct person on the planet!

  25. I am astonished at the way Eugene, having castigated the law school for its policies, now:

    1. Says not one word about the patent dishonesty of the Federalist Society in this matter.

    2. Says nothing about the fact that the school was prepared to cover the security costs of the event as originally scheduled.

    3. Offers no apology at all for his extremely one-sided initial presentation of the matter.

    No wonder he thinks the bulk of suppression efforts come from the left, since he is prepared to swallow whatever nonsense the Federalist Society spoons up.

    1. Maybe he is not naive [or obtuse] enough to swallow the dean’s BS lock stock and barrel like you..

      1. If he thinks the dean is lying let him say so.

        Clearly, you do, for no reason whatsoever beyond your preconceived notions.

        1. You believe her for no reason whatsoever beyond your preconceived notions.

          1. She is an established professional with a reputation to consider, and she has publicized her response that contains specific, verifiable assertions. If it turns out she is lying, that can be proven and her reputation will be tarnished. Unless/until individually identified students come forward to specifically refute her factual assertions and stake their professional reputations on being correct, she is in the more credible position.

            1. Ascribing malice, misconduct, or incompetence to the dean seems indefensible on the current record, yet Bob continues to do it.

              Maintaining that discredited headline is lame, yet the Volokh Conspiracy continues to do it.

              Those two points may be related.

            2. Have you read Lewis & Clark’s statement about the Christina Hoff-Summers speech? That something is put out by an established professional does little to bolster its credibility. You put out a statement that gives your supporters something to point to and count on them not verifying the facts. And many of your opponents have already made up their minds (and aren’t going to verify the facts either).

              In this case though, I suspect the Dean’s story is probably pretty close to the truth.

          2. I tend to believe what people say unless there is good reason to do otherwise, which there often is. I even believed the Federalists had a legitimate complaint, until I learned different.

            Should have known, I suppose. Right-wingers, especially smug student right-wingers, often lie.

            1. And yet the whole reason there’s a controversy here is because left wingers pathologically lie about Murray and the contents of his book.

    2. Welcome, newcomer!

    3. Same here. Eugene usually seems pretty cautious with criticism, and in the past I have usually assumed he is being fair to all parties. But now I have to question that assumption.

      1. Several of the Conspirators likely aspire to the federal bench, and are unlikely to be nominated by Democrats. They have staked out loud, partisan positions rather than following the ‘qualified, but quiet’ route. Disparaging or questioning the Federalist Society seems incongruent with the thinking of anyone proposing to rely on movement conservative credentials, at least absent severe circumstances, and this seems merely run-of-the-mill shabby conduct by the fledgling right-wingers of Miami.

  26. I think a lot of commenters jumped the gun on this one.

    1. Getting excited (and lathering up the locals) about illusory outrage is part of the everyday fun around here.

  27. I notice two FACTS missing from this discussion.

    1. What was the cost the Law School initially agreed to underwrite?
    It seems the Federalists should have expected that amount.

    2. How much less was the cost for the space provided by the Law School?
    It seems that counts as a contribution by the Law School since they rescheduled or relocated another event.

    Why don’t the Federalists start a Go Fund Me?

    1. This batch of fledgling conservatives apparently would prefer to moan about illusory outrages, and schedule events more likely to provoke disdain among fellow students than to persuade them to prefer conservative positions, than to accomplish anything constructive.

  28. It does not matter to those who don’t want to have free speech how that free speech is prevented as long as it is prevented. If they can drive up the cost so that it is not possible to afford the protection or they cause the schools to no longer have free speech debates as this one the results are the same. Free speech will be dead. Now days most of the threats against the speaker are coming from the left as we have noticed every since Trump started his bid for the office of President of the US. Now it has not always been that way.

    1. Maybe read more before you describe your anti-speech liberal hellscape.

      1. Tell me, where does Curly4 describe an “anti-speech liberal hellscape”? It’s not in the first sentence, which makes a substantive point and plainly talks about “those who don’t want to have free speech.” It’s not in the second sentence, which is also talking about those people. Or the third. And notice that it’s “will be,” not “is.” That certainly seems relevant to your hellscape claim. Not even the fourth. Saying that “most of the threats against free speech are coming from the left” certainly doesn’t cut it. And the fifth sentence even admits that the left hasn’t always been responsible for the threats.

        You are so bad at this. Maybe you should read what people actually write before responding. Just a thought.

        And to think that you wrote this on the same page. “Just don’t trust the people you don’t like, and fill in their claims with ones you prefer.” It’s truly outstanding.

        1. Holy crap, you’ve caught me in hyperbole – there will not be fire or brimstone, so I’m basically being intellectually dishonest. Never mind the “free speech will be dead” bit, even though you address it.

          Hey – where did I say he was describing a current hellscape and not a future one?

          And why are you focusing on that turn of phrase, and not what I was talking about, which is how this guy knee-jerked a screed about speech under attack in response to what turns out to be incorrect facts. That kind of factless naritivism is bad craziness that both sides need to stop, but yours more these days.

          Your angry pendantry and insistence that I suck is just tiresome and unneeded.

          1. God you are dumb. I mean really seriously dumb. I mean, who helped you log on dumb. You think I was objecting to your use of hellscape? And if you were talking about a future hellscape, your original post is even dumber. Every time I try to give you just a little bit of credit you reveal yourself unworthy.

            We’ll try this again. I’ll type slower.

            Who is the first sentence about, liberals or “those who don’t want to have free speech”? I’ll give you a hint–the part between the ” ” means Curly4 actually wrote it.

            Who is the second sentence about, liberals or “those who don’t want to have free speech”?

            What does the word “most” mean in the fourth sentence? Is it the same as all?

            What is the implication of the fifth sentence? Pay careful attention to how it relates to the fourth sentence.

            And the facts aren’t incorrect. Curly4 points out that if “those who don’t want to have free speech . . . can drive up the cost so that it is not possible to afford the protection . . . Free speech will be dead,” just as surely as it will be if “schools to no longer have free speech debates.” Whether you side with the Federalist Society or the Administration, that is happening in this case. Those who don’t want free speech created enough of a security threat that the event was jeopardized.

            And my insistence that you suck is not nearly as tiresome or unneeded as your constant sucking. Or your sanctimonious preening.

            1. “God you are dumb. I mean really seriously dumb. I mean, who helped you log on dumb.”

              This is why the ignore feature is missed; because now we have to take the time to remember that jph12 is an obnoxious idiot whose opinion can be immediately discounted, instead of never having to see them.

                1. JPH, you have taken quite a stab at it, but you’ve utterly failed to make anyone but yourself look bad. The failure in reading comprehension is yours, not Sarc’s. I can see by your last comment here that you’ve given up on any semblance of rational argument, and have resorted to implying that you are in a position to look down on Loki or Sarc, who regularly prove themselves to be thoughtful commenters on this site.

                  1. loki13 made no rational argument for me to respond to. And for loki13 to complain about people being obnoxious asses is amusing. I do agree that he is often thoughtful, though.

                    If you think I’ve failed in my reading comprehension, point out where. Curly4 does not blame it all on liberals, does not say that if free speech dies it will be all the fault of liberals, and this situation is an example of the phenomena Curly4 is concerned about. In other words, Sarcastro’s characterization, as it so often is, is full of shit.

              1. You can call jph12 an obnoxious idiot; I call him a standard-issue backward, bigoted, disaffected, right-wing Volokh Conspiracy commenter. Probably southern or rural; maybe even both,

              2. …and this is why the Like button is missed.

  29. You don’t have to like the FedSoc chapter’s behavior, or hate on the dean, to see the bottom line here: Potential disruptors can raise the costs of speech, and without specific safeguards this can lead to unaffordable security fees.

    Perhaps the law school is actually a step ahead of this possibility by being willing to pay the fees if they’re too high – I hope so, though the policy articulated by the dean seems to involves too many maybes and ifs.

    That’s not the same as saying the dean wakes up in the morning saying “how do I censor these people”? It’s that there needs to be a specific anti-heckler’s-veto policy to assure students in advance they will be able to invite the Charles Murrays and other left-wing targets.

    1. Here’s a good policy. Line up security guards with M4s and make it clear to liberals that if they take one step toward the stage to assault the speaker they’re getting a full 30 rounds in the chest.

      1. And conservatives wonder why they have been taking it down the throat for at least a half-century of American progress that expressly rejects their intolerant, backward, authoritarian, ignorant preferences.

        They probably also wonder why our stronger schools are liberal-libertarian (or non-conservative) while our conservative-controlled schools are lame, fourth-rate goober farms.

        I intend to enjoy the next few decades of American progress, which should continue to align with my preferences. Conservatives can continue to whine about good old days that never existed.

        Carry on, clingers. Special shout-out to the fledgling goobers at Miami’s Federalist Society.

        1. Poor Kirkland ? claims to have an elite education, but apparently has no real job and is unable to articulate his delusions without resorting to vulgarities.

  30. “As you know,” and “As you well know” seem to me to be a good way to say go eff yourself. If that’s where discussion starts with a university dean, I have to question the good will of said dean.

  31. The way to force Universities to have more even handed policies on controversial speakers is a bumper sticker campaign. Plaster campus with cheap, hard to remove, bumper stickers that read something like, “Free Speech. Jail Red Rioters.” You may think this wouldn’t work, but it actually did work for me and my friends.

    I was an alum, but friends at Northwestern University invited Nicaraguan Contra leader Adolfo Calero to speak on campus in 1985. (The Contras were a guerrilla resistance fighting the communist government of Nicaragua.) Marxist English Professor Barbara Foley organized a riot to prevent Calero from speaking. She seized the podium and announced that Calero had no right to speak there. We had to hustle Calero out of the room to a waiting car before things got violent.

    We got even later. Someone privately funded over a thousand cheap bumper stickers that said “Fire Foley! Expel Red Rioters.” These were plastered all over campus, and they were not the easy to remove kind of bumper stickers. Foley was denied tenure and got fired. The campus newspaper headline read “Red Rioter Fired.” We used protester tactics against the protesters, and it worked.

  32. The same guerrilla tactics can work today to stop politically correct campus mobs incited by radical professors. Bumper stickers are cheap and can be furtively stuck on light poles, utility boxes and bathroom stalls very quickly. It only takes a few students and a thousand bumper stickers to have a very visible impact all across an entire campus.

    What the bumper stickers did, and could do again, was to give the college administration a vision of opposition from the conservative side that might escalate. If there’s only one side, campus authorities have an easy choice. They appease the loud left wing protesters. But if there are two sides, campus authorities have to think about it a little harder. The fair minded ones can make a better argument that inciting a riot is not a way to exercise academic freedom if there’s a risk both sides will escalate.

    You can search for “Barbara Foley Fired” to see how the Pravda Press covered it.

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