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CUNY Law Needs to Fire its Dean

Inside Higher Ed reports that there will be no sanctions, nor even an investigation, of the students who disrupted Josh Blackman's talk:

Via email on Sunday, Mary Lu Bilek, dean of the law school, said that the protest was reasonable because the disruptions ended relatively early in the time frame of the appearance.

"For the first eight minutes of the 70-minute event, the protesting students voiced their disagreements. The speaker engaged with them. The protesting students then filed out of the room, and the event proceeded to its conclusion without incident," Bilek said.

"This non-violent, limited protest was a reasonable exercise of protected free speech, and it did not violate any university policy," she added. "CUNY Law students are encouraged to develop their own perspectives on the law in order to be prepared to confront our most difficult legal and social issues as lawyers promoting the values of fairness, justice, and equality."

Some free-speech provocateurs should consider disrupting the first eight minutes of each of CUNY law school's classes this week, including by forcing the professor to run a gauntlet of protesters threatening to block entry into their classrooms. After all, we now know that the law school's official position is that eight minutes of disruption is "a reasonable exercise of free speech." Meanwhile, Dean Bilek should be fired, and the Department of Education should investigate whether CUNY, a public institution, is violating the First Amendment rights of its guest speakers and students by giving disrupting students carte blanche, at least for eight minutes. The joke is that Dean Bilek is an ABA site visit team member, helping determine whether other law schools should get or keep the necessary accreditation, something she clearly is not competent to do.

Note that I'm not advocating any particular punishment of the students. But surely it can't be consistent with free speech and university policy to disrupt a speaker. Indeed, that was the law school's position before the talk. As IHE reports: "The law school sent a campuswide email stating that Blackman had a right to speak, and that protests were welcome, but not if they disrupted his appearance. At the beginning of his lecture, a law school official came to the event, repeated that message and then left."

UPDATE: Let's take a look at page 85 of the law school's student handbook: "II. Rules of the university (1-11) and law school (12). 1. A member of the academic community shall not intentionally obstruct and/or forcibly prevent others from the exercise of their rights. Nor shall she/he interfere with the institution's educational process or facilities, or the rights of those who wish to avail themselves of any of the institution's instructional, personal, administrative, recreational, and community services." Also this: "5. Each member of the academic community or an invited guest has the right to advocate his position without having to fear abuse—physical, verbal, or otherwise from others supporting conflicting points of view." The disruption didn't violate any university policy, Dean Bilek? Have your read the student handbook?

(Cross-posted at Instapundit)

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  • Longtobefree||

    "CUNY Law students are encouraged to develop their own perspectives on the law in order to be prepared to confront our most difficult legal and social issues as lawyers promoting the values of fairness, justice, and equality." -

    So there is the key; the law as we teach it is not actually the law, it is whatever OUR perspectives say it is at that point in time.

    Maybe what the Dept of Education should investigate is CUNY's false advertising as a law school.

  • David Nieporent||

    Maybe what the Dept of Education should investigate is CUNY's false advertising as a law school.

    I don't think too many people confuse CUNY with a law school anyway. Certainly not hiring attorneys.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Snobbery.

    If they pass the bar [especially on the first try] they are as good as the haughtiest Harvard grad.

    The fact that certain "hiring attorneys" don't consider them says more about the hiring attorneys than the grads.

  • NToJ||

    Bob from Mother Russia doesn't trust market corrections as much as he trusts state run licensing regimes. Maybe we could have the People's Commissariat for Justice hand out legal jobs to avoid the snobbery.

  • Quixote||

    All in all we have developed better techniques for silencing "speech" that we really don't like at NYU. See the documentation of our leading criminal "satire" case at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

    Although we were unable to secure a jail sentence, we clearly did get some "lines" drawn that will be of importance working forward from here.

  • Careless||

    this guy has been spamming this site on Reason for a very long time. And yet no one ever cares

  • Ridgeway||

    He spammed the old VC as well.

  • Quixote||

    Surely neither of you would deny that our suppression techniques at NYU are more effective than CUNY's? At least here we are not afraid to collaborate with prosecutors in criminalizing unwanted "speech" that nobody likes. Admittedly, we were unable to secure a jail sentence this time, but we are still in the early stages of long-term strategical planning in this regard.

  • TheAmazingEmu||

    I don't think passing a test of minimum competency makes one necessarily as good as a Harvard grad who also passes that test.

  • Careless||

    I was interested and surprised to see after originally seeing this story that they have a bar passage rate about the state average

  • James Pollock||

    "If they pass the bar [especially on the first try] they are as good as the haughtiest Harvard grad.
    The fact that certain 'hiring attorneys' don't consider them says more about the hiring attorneys than the grads."

    Well, it might also indicate that the bar exam is too easy.
    What would happen to bar pass rates if we dropped the requirement for an ABA-accredited JD, and let people take the bar exam with just a bar prep class under their belts?

  • MightyMouse||

    estoppel

  • MightyMouse||

    Blackman, with his gracious forbearance, stated right then and there that the students where exercising their 1st amendment rights.

  • Eidde||

    OK, let's skip the ABA and look at the accreditation process applicable to CUNY as a whole, not just the law school.

    It says here that to be accredited,

    "...The institution shall establish, publish and enforce explicit policies with respect to:

    "(i) academic freedom"

  • Eidde||

    And here's one of CUNY's explicit policies on academic freedom

    "2.2 Examples of such prohibited conduct include:

    "...shouting down or otherwise preventing a speaker from delivering remarks at a University program or event or ejecting participants in a public forum or meeting because of their viewpoint"

    So the university got the adoption part right, now for the enforcement part.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Conservatives should be careful with this one.

    The many schools that flout academic freedom -- that impose speech and conduct codes, enforce dogma, codify the stifling of dissent, prohibit free inquiry, engage in strident viewpoint discrimination, teach nonsense, suppress science, and excommunicate those who wish to exercise academic freedom -- are operated by and for right-wingers.

    The conservative-controlled institutions also tend to be low-quality schools. People who rely on reason are likely to understand the connection.

  • Eidde||

    It's customary to allow mobs to shout down speakers at events sponsored by conservative-oriented institutions?

    You generally include "loyalty oaths" on your list of bad behavior by conservative institutions. At least these loyalty oaths alert students and professors in advance that there are certain limits on academic freedom, limits to be enforced by the administration, not by mobs.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Dissent rarely gets far enough into the door to be heckled on a right-wing campus.

    Precisely how much does superstition improve suppression of academic freedom and dissent, Eidde, at least in your authoritarian judgment?

  • Eidde||

    You really seem to have some difficulty with comprehension and logic, don't you? Maybe *you're* superstitious.

  • JesseAz||

    You mean like when Bernie Sanders was invited to, spoke to, and left without incident?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    That's your evidence? A Sanders speech? Against the speech codes, the proud teaching of nonsense, the loyalty oaths, the conduct codes, the viewpoint-based discrimination (from hiring to admissions to firings and administration), the squelching of dissent, the disbanding of student organizations that conflict with right-wing dogma, the termination of professors for failure to toe the right-wing line of intolerance and backwardness . . . against that, your idea of evidence is a Sanders speech?

    The audience you believe you could persuade with that must be pure yokel.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Sure, let's compare doctrine and capacity for dissent on "right-wing" campuses (what-ever the fuck they are, maybe code for Oral Roberts or Liberty) to that on "historically Black colleges, and see who looks more like Nazis (at least in shouting).

  • Careless||

    So Arthur, are you taking back your endorsement of all those 3rd and 4th rate Texas universities, most of which were Christian schools, that wanted to shut down "hate speech" a couple of months ago

  • Finrod||

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • nonzenze||

    But did they prevent the speaker from delivering remarks? They said their (idiotic) piece and then left the remainder of the event to run in peace.

    Don't get me wrong, I really do think the protesters are idiotic, not devoted to any kind of discourse and completely (and will admit to being) unwilling to engage the arguments on an intellectual level. I'm hardly defending them. But as a purely constructive matter, I don't read 2.2 as prohibiting what they did.

  • Eidde||

    I'm sure that would be the defense...but it would mean that they can leave at minute 59 of a one-hour talk and ask to be acquitted because they allowed one minute of speaking, hence the speech wasn't "prevented."

  • Eidde||

    It would be just as natural a reading to see it as meaning preventing *any* remarks, even if the remarks are only part of a speech.

  • nonzenze||

    It would lead to an absurd result, so I would argue it can't be read that way.

    [ Just as the 59/60 outcome is an absurd result. ]

  • nonzenze||

    Don't be facetious, obviously that's a 2.2 violation.

    There is a continuum between loudly booing one remark that prevents the speaker from talking for 15 seconds to monopolizing the entire 60 minute span means that this is an exercise in line-drawing.

    Or let me ask you the converse? Has the student that loudly boos and thus holds up the speech for 15 seconds violated 2.2?

  • Eidde||

    Now, it may be that the rule as written doesn't encompass as much behavior as I thought.

    I don't know who drew up CUNY's rule, maybe their legal draftsmanship was not ideal. Maybe some tightening of the language would help.

    Or maybe considering any alleged disruption from the standpoint of "what if student protesters did this at a fundraising dinner" would concentrate administration minds.

  • Eidde||

    If I were writing a rule I'd require some evidence of an intention to disrupt, which would allow for a guy to say "boo" briefly even if it's inconvenient.

  • Eidde||

    So in other words, if it's clear that the protesters know they're interfering with an official university event but do it anyway, that would be a violation, but not someone in the audience spontaneously gasping or booing or cheering a single remark he finds shocking/pleasing/whatever.

  • nonzenze||

    But they didn't interfere with it -- they came, protested and then left in peace.

  • susancol||

    nonzenze: They *certainly* interfered with more than 1/10 of the speech. Look at a clock. Wait and do nothing for 8 minutes. You'll find that this is not a "brief interruption".

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Always interesting to observe conservatives -- who operate a censorship-shackled, science-rejecting, nonsense-teaching. third- or fourth-tier (or unranked, with sketchy accreditation, maybe even featuring loyalty oaths) mediocrity factory just about every time they get to call the shots on a campus -- offering pointers to those who operate our strong schools (in the liberal-libertarian mainstream).

  • Eidde||

    Which conservatives are you referring to...name names!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I think the relevant person continues to self-identify as a libertarian, so courtesy inclines me to permit readers to reach their own conclusions.

  • Eidde||

    Courtesy also requires you to show where this person supports science-rejecting, nonsense-teaching institutions. A link would help.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Read the Conspiracy archives. The Conspirators regularly aim their repetitive ankle-biting at liberal-libertarian schools for perceived affronts to freedom of expression, yet disregard the strenuous, systematic, daily censorship that is a signature element of right-wing schools.

    They're conservative partisans on a mission to make movement conservatism more popular in a world moving the other way and a smaller community (academia) that tends to be hostile to backwardness, ignorance, intolerance, and general stale thinking. The academic veneer and faux libertarianism may work with lesser audiences, at least to some degree, but most people either eagerly swallow the polemics or recognize what the Conspirators are up to and discount accordingly.

  • Eidde||

    "perceived affronts to freedom of expression"

    That's right, concede nothing! It's *perceived* affronts when hip, modern, enlightened mobs disrupt speakers.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You stick with your right-wing thinking, your right-wing educational institutions, your right-wing politics, your pining for illusory "good old days."

    I will continue to prefer the liberal-libertarian mainstream, our strong schools, and progress. I also will hope that students at CUNY learn something -- that the majority become more tolerant of opposing viewpoints, and that the conservative minority becomes something more than provocative.

    I am content.

  • Eidde||

    "...your pining for illusory "good old days.""

    Where does this even come from? When did I say anything about good old days, imaginary or otherwise?

    "...that the conservative minority becomes something more than provocative."

    The conservatives at CUNY invited a law professor who supports legalizing the "Dreamers" by statute. The "provocation" was that he didn't think an executive order could be a substitute for a statute.

    Seriously, who would conservative students have to invite to satisfy you? Angela Davis?

  • JesseAz||

    You're arguing with an idiot.

  • Eidde||

    More like when someone else is talking he just tunes out and listens to the voices in his head instead.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Perhaps I don't speak authoritarian, bigoted wingnut well enough to be understandable in some circles.

  • Eidde||

    Yes, if people weren't such bigots they'd understand the pure wisdom you emit, instead of thinking you're uttering confused gibberish.

  • PublicNameNotInUse||

    Eidde: Don't feed the troll. The Right Rev. Kirkland would jump off a bridge if Bernstein published an essay titled "Why Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland Shouldn't Jump Off Bridges". RLK is a masters course in logical fallacies, specializing in Straw Men, Begging the Question, and Ad Hominem. Fortunately, he goes away if people don't give him the attention he thinks he deserves.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    People like me don't go away -- we just effect liberal-libertarian progress in America across generations, strangling right-wing aspirations along the way of that progress.

  • y81||

    If CUNY is what you consider a "strong" law school, your academic credentials must be worse than I thought. TTT. Conservatives don't complain about strong schools like Chicago, do they?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    CUNY is not a strong law school (although it is may be stronger than the average conservative law school).

    The right-wingers of the Conspiracy complain about plenty of strong schools (and some not-so-strong schools). The criterion that animates the Conspiracy is not quality of the school, but instead whether a school is controlled by conservatives -- the Conspirators focus on liberal-libertarian schools for their incessant, ankle-biting criticisms, and generally provide an undeserved, partisan pass to right-wing campuses.

  • Eidde||

    Don't forget the excuses they keep making for Trump, and their crusade for banning pot.

    /sarcasm

  • Vandalia||

    You mean those liberal-libertarian schools where it has been determined that teaching engineering students basic math and physics is "racist and oppressive"? If I am flying an airplane, or living next to a nuclear reactor, I want it designed by someone who has been rigorously educated in fundamental math and science, and who has been taught the strong reasoning skills that come only from a study of Western philosophy.

    As someone with a Ph.D., who has served on many National Science Foundation panels, I am always amused by the liberals who claim to believe in "science" but who do not even know the difference between Maxwell's Equation and the Dirac Equation. It is also worth pointing out that Evolution demands that we sterilize the poor and eliminate homosexuals; the only reason we exist is to reproduce, and evolution demands that only the genetic information from the very best be passed on to the next generation. Science in general and Evolution in particular are ruthless: species are supposed to go extinct.

    If you don't know the difference between the LaPlace and Fourier Transforms, and you don't have a reading knowledge of Latin and Greek, and if you can't intelligently discuss Aquinas and Duns Scotus, then you have no business being on a university campus.

  • Eidde||

    Is the Fourier Transform the blue one, or is that one of the Decepticons?

    I'll let myself out.

  • less lean eel son||

    Your positions are ridiculous. (Except to say that yes, engineers and scientists need math.) You appear to believe that to support science, one must have extensive knowledge of many aspects of physics, including familiarity with Maxwell's equations (you missed that it's plural, you ninny) but apparently one should be ass backwards in one's understanding of evolution (Or is your 'Evolution' different from evolution?), and to enter college one must know Greek and Latin and Theology(?!).

    Maybe you're just a shitty troll?

    You do a disservice to the others who served on NSF boards by making it public that that's your claim to superior knowledge. You seem to think that having a phd and getting that invite to serve makes you smart or even knowledgeable (appeal to authority), but you provide ample counter evidence in a few short paragraphs.

    You say that "Evolution demands [sterilization of] the poor"). Did you happen to attend one of Arthur's famous backwoods institutions in the 18th century? Seriously, who taught you? (you bring great shame to them as well. You are describing eugenics, not evolution, you bug dummy. Evolution makes no demands, not even metaphorically, its a change in heritable characteristics over time- those may be from the best that reproduce, or the worst. The only genes that don't get passed on are from those who don't reproduce, and you strike me as the type not to have much opportunity. Even homosexuals reproduce and pass on their genes.

    Staggering.

  • great Unknown||

    Bless you sir or madam. Maxwell and Dirac, LaPlace and Fourier: music to my ears.

    On the other hand, I would say that insisting on Aquinas and Duns Scotus is parochially Christian-centric. Let's expand that to include Maimonides and the Kabbalists, Islamic Philosophers [hard to name - there were so many of them] and I would agree, since they all had major influences on Western Civilization.

  • bernard11||

    I suppose you can also read and understand Biblical Hebrew and are familiar with the various commentaries by Rashi and others, not to mention the Talmud. Oh, and the Koran, in Arabic, is within your ken also.

    Here's a clue, vandalia. When you are trying to con people you shouldn't push it too far. Less is more. Drop a few hints, throw in some Greek or a Latin sentence - not a well-known one, res ipsa loquitur isn't going to fool anyone - and so on.

    Let your mark use his imagination. Cons work better that way. You have much to learn, grasshopper.

  • Scrotie_McB||

    Bravo!

  • Sarcastr0||

    Following naked credentialism with capital-E-evolution-cum-eugenics is a bold move, Vandalia.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Vandalia doesn't need to persuade you and your elite, establishment, reasoning, reality-based world. Vandalia is on a Mission From God.

    A backward, intolerant God.

  • Scrotie_McB||

    I haven't been to the VC in a while, nice to see that Arthur is still doing his show for free. Reminds me of Petey from The Simpsons, but he charged a nickel for his dances.

  • PublicNameNotInUse||

    I was a little worried he wouldn't make the jump after VC changed to Reason. He's kind of like Gallagher. Most of what he says is nonsense and not all that funny, but you're only there to watch him hit watermelons with a hammer so it doesn't matter!

  • ragebot||

    You got that right. My take is there needs to be a literacy test to vote; you have to solve a couple of partials or you can't vote. But I still have trouble distinguishing between Maxwell and Dirac; maybe they are indistinguishable. But I do have a library card at the library at FSU.

  • Scrotie_McB||

    I think Maxwell was the one you could count on.

  • BillyG||

    Vague references to a group you disparage. No verifiable claims or evidence presented. Purporting to be able to read the minds of your opponents. Truly a biggoted argument.

    Carry on, Tyrant.

  • glowend||

    I disagree with what the dean said, but I would find this analysis way more credible if the author didn't advocate for firing the dean. I makes me question whether the analysis is more mood-affiliated than than well argued, but I guess it makes for a better click-bait headline.

  • Joe_JP||

    Given the general trend of comments on this blog, the fact that people repeatedly felt the protest here as a whole was open to criticism but not earth shattering to me is fairly notable. I think the reaction to the protest was overheated, including from certain liberal law professors.

  • ||

    When the dean of a law school is complicit in violating a Constitutional tenet, it makes sense that one would advocate for her firing.

    If a dean of a law school prohibited married student housing from being assigned to two men in a homosexual "marriage," would you say he should be allowed to remain dean?

  • James Pollock||

    "When the dean of a law school is complicit in violating a Constitutional tenet"

    So, to actual right wingers, letting people say things is a violation of Constitutional tenet?

    Did you share this opinion when other actual right wingers decided the way to express their opinion of Obamacare was to go to the town hall meetings that Congressional representatives held to explain what it was that they'd voted for, and cause so much disruption that nobody could hear or learn anything?

  • Pride and Prejudice Prong||

    After all, we now know that the law school's official position is that eight minutes of disruption is "a reasonable exercise of free speech."

    That's just not true. Their official position appears to be that you can disrupt at least--possibly more--11% of a speech. For a 120 minute lecture, that's a little over thirteen minutes of disruption!

  • ReaderY||

    It seems to me here we need to look at this with calmer heads. Generally speaking, it's been accepted that hecklerss have some right to protest, but not so much as to completely disrupt the balance. Indeed, adroitly dealing with hecklers has been a source of some politicians' fame:

    Heckler (disruption speech on budget): What about Vietnam?
    (British Prime Minister) Wilson: The government has no plans to increase public expenditures in Vietnam.
    Heckler: Rubbish!
    Wilson: We'll get to your special interest in a moment, sir.

    Was this non-disruptive heckling or disruptive heckling? It appears the law school Dean was suggesting it was more orderly than a lot of other protests that completely shut speakers down, assaulted and injured them, etc. Perhaps there was a negotiated agreement they would protest for a few minutes and then stop.

    Because of this, it seems to me that we should obtain more facts, and approach the matter with more level heads, before we start demanding that people be fired etc.

  • Krayt||

    The question isn't whether they should get a slap on the wrist -- the traditional punishment for disruption noticably greater than a momentary heckling and less than murder.

    It's the declaration, by the dean of (I should know laws and the Constitution) that protracted disruption is ok itself.

    You have always had the right to speak and never have had the right to invade someone else's turf and prevent them from speaking there.

  • ||

    Just to be clear, being "fired" as dean means you are relieved of your responsibilities as dean, and go back to the faculty, not that you lose employment.

  • nonzenze||

    This should really be an edit to the post and not buried in the comments. It changes the tenor of the entire comment.

  • James Pollock||

    "Just to be clear, being "fired" as dean means you are relieved of your responsibilities as dean, and go back to the faculty"

    If you meant "demoted" instead of "fired", you should have used the word "demoted" instead of the word "fired".

    The author of this article should be executed. ("Executed" means "ignored, right?)

  • JesseAz||

    "hecklerss have some right to protest"

    There is zero right to protest inside a private venue.

  • ReaderY||

    This doesn't strike me as a very reasonable argument. The question is whether the law school dean has not merely acted unreasonably but done something so egregious that he deserves to be fired for it. I don't see how your statement addresses that point. There may for example be zero right for people to enter a law school's library. But it doesn't strike me that a law dean who allowed public access would merit calls to be fired. Indeed your argument tends to lead to the opposite conclusion. If it's private property (it isn't, by the way; CUNY is a public university, but that's beside the point), then since the law dean is its custodian, from a strict property rights point of view how he manages it I would appear to be none of Professor Bernstein's business.

  • Leo Marvin||

    Meanwhile, Dean Bilek should be fired, and the Department of Education should investigate whether CUNY, a public institution, is violating the First Amendment rights of its guest speakers and students by giving disrupting students carte blanche, at least for eight minutes.

    I'd have thought, have the investigation first, but what do I know? It's probably just my pre 1/20/17 mentality.

    Pop quiz:

    "Death by hanging, followed by a long prison term."

    (a) Obvious joke

    (b) An idea whose time has come

    Seriously, David, you don't seem like a happy warrior. Is there anything you want to talk about? I'm afraid next time I look up, I'll find you'll be posting at Instapundit.

  • apedad||

    Just watched the video...

    First, have to commend Mr. Blackman for handling the matter rather professionally (I guess he's had practice with people yelling at him?).

    Second, it's disgusting that Prof. Bernstein wants such heavy-handed responses (Firing! Federal investigation!).

    Look, the situation resolved itself. Everybody had their say.

    If this is the worse thing that can happen on a college campus (no vandalism, no violence, etc), then that's something I think we can live with.

  • Eidde||

    OK, as long as the dean would be willing to allow a fundraising dinner to be disrupted in the same way - making sure to yell at the dean and the potential donors only for a few minutes, after which the situation resolves itself.

  • nonzenze||

    To be honest, I think his professional demeanor actually disarmed the protest.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "then that's something I think we can live with"

    You get more of what you encourage.

    They got away with it, the next time will be worse.

  • nonzenze||

    You mean if we encourage people to meet controversial speakers with a token protest and then leave him to give the rest his remarks in peace and without disruption, we might get more such discourse?!

    Woohoooo!

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Next time will not be "token".

  • less lean eel son||

    that's why they call him psychic Bob.

  • apedad||

    Good ol' "Slippery-Slope" Bob from Ohio!

    At least you're consistent...

  • nonzenze||

    Well, then I will applies Bob's wisdom and encourage the say-your-thing-then-leave protest while discouraging other protests.

    According to our very own expert, we will then get more of what we encourage (protest-then-leave) and we will all be better off.

    Thanks for helping us think this one through Bob!

  • Joe_JP||

    This is my general sentiment.

    This is a libertarian leaning blog and people like Eugene Volokh strongly support free speech. This includes worrying about high schools dealing with harassment of students via regulations that in close cases might cause difficulties. Free speech does that -- it will encourage people pressing against the edges of what should be legitimate. Breathing room requires that & in the process a few people will cross the line.

    The result here -- regarding a very sensitive topic -- is if anything reassuring on all ends. The protesters probably learned something & some even engaged with Prof. Blackman. The heavy-handed call to fire someone -- which might encourage putting down protests some here will support just to be on the safe side -- is overblown.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    This is a libertarian leaning blog

    every bit as much as the moon is made of green cheese; Earth is a few thousand years old; and evolution is a lie from the pits of hell (instead of being a theory -- much like gravity).

    This is a movement conservative blog.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  • TWW||

    "Note that I'm not advocating any particular punishment of the students."

    So noted. But why not?

  • loki13||

    "Note that I'm not advocating any particular punishment of the students."

    I'm unable to decide if any students should be punished, and to what extent, BUT THAT DEAN HAS TO BE FIRED!

    It wouldn't be a Bernstein post without both an update, and that slightly queasy and unhinged tone.

  • William_Zanzinger||

    It's a classic cop-out. Bernstein apparently believes that the decision of whether or not students should be punished is so simple and straightforward that the dean should be fired for not punishing them; at the same time. He recognizes that actually deciding on a particular punishment is challenging enough that even in his role as armchair dean, he is unable to propose a theoretically appropriate punishment.

  • William_Zanzinger||

    "Note that I'm not advocating any particular punishment of the students. But surely it can't be consistent with free speech and university policy to disrupt a speaker."

    And up until now, I had thought that my opinion of David Bernstein couldn't get any lower. If he doesn't have the guts to say what the punishment for the students should be, he should wait until he figures that out before demanding that the dean be fired.

  • Don Nico||

    Well, the post is typical Bernstein. They only thing we missed is his called the protesters anti-semitic.

  • ||

    I hadn't even heard of this TTT prior to the Blackman speech.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    So I guess these assholes will demand the first 8 minutes of any courtroom session for irrational protests about case law, the judge, or some demented personal opressive feelings.

    I wonder how that will go.

  • Eidde||

    Again, I'd say the proper comparison would be the dean speaking at a fundraising dinner with fat-cat alumni (assuming they have any).

    Would protesters be allowed to occupy the podium for several minutes, shout at the dean and the alumni that they should be ashamed even to *think* about donating money to the school, etc?

    How long before security comes in? How long before these protesters face charges in the campus courts or the real-world courts?

  • Eidde||

    Yeah, I checked the first few minutes of the video, I can't see how, if this were a fundraising dinner, the authorities would be stroking their chins and saying how this was a nondisruptive display of 1st Amendment rights, etc.

  • Phil Candreva||

    Law schools have an obligation to teach students the decorum expected of a lawyer. For that reason alone, the dean acted wrongly. The students should be treated as a judge would treat them if they did that crap in a courtroom.

  • James Pollock||

    "Law schools have an obligation to teach students the decorum expected of a lawyer.:

    The decorum expected of a lawyer when they are not acting as a lawyer is nil.

    "The students should be treated as a judge would treat them if they did that crap in a courtroom."

    No, they should be treated as a judge would treat them if they did that crap NOT in courtroom. Because they did that crap not in a courtroom.

    The offending students should be treated as if they were annoying brats. Because they behaved like annoying brats.

  • SimonP||

    David, if you taught at a decent law school, I'd worry that your students would be unwittingly supporting your foaming-at-the-mouth madness. But as it stands, I'd suppose they're getting about what they deserve.

  • ragebot||

    UF has figured out how to deal with protests.

    Don't tase me bro.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkMkGOpAF4s

  • nonzenze||

    Note that, had that protester at UF acted like the ones at CUNY, he would not have been tased. In fact, they "figured out" the same thing -- that it's far better to leave the protesters to depart under their own sense rather than to force them out.

    Now, if they want to be extra-idiotic and refuse to leave, then unfortunately you've got to step in.

  • James Pollock||

    Is the goal to provoke more, and more expansive, protests? If so, then escalating the conflict is the way to go.

    Here's how I see it:
    Sometimes, when you're driving in traffic, one guy drives like an asshole and cuts you off. You can choose to drive dangerously yourself, keep up with them, and confront them for driving like an asshole. Or you can accept that sometimes people drive like assholes, and turning into one yourself is not the best response.

    "Let's do it to them and see how THEY like it" may feel better in the shorter term, but it's not very often that it's the best way to get what you want..

  • JonFrum||

    If this dean should be fired, then there are many others around the country who should get similar treatment. This isn't an unfortunate exception - it is the rule.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If firing this dean for the described conduct meant we would no longer accredit schools that interrupt education and squelch dissent by teaching nonsense to enforce silly dogma . . . nah, it still would be a silly overreaction.

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