The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

Harvey Silverglate, Co-Founder of FIRE (and Former Director of ACLU-Mass), for Harvard Board of Overseers


Harvey Silverglate, a noted civil rights and criminal defense lawyer, is running for the Harvard Board of Overseers, on a platform of free speech and encouraging debate and viewpoint diversity. Harvey is the co-founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (which was recently broadened to be the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression), as well as a member of the ACLU of Massachusetts Board of Directors for 30 years (two as the Board president).

As Jeff Jacoby (Boston Globe) reports,

Ordinarily, overseers are chosen from a slate of insider candidates selected by a committee of the Harvard Alumni Association. But there is an outside route: Candidates can get on the ballot if [3,188] Harvard graduates sign a petition nominating them.

If you're a Harvard alum and would like to see Silverglate as a member of the board, you can sign his petition at I would have, had I gone to Harvard. Rumors that Harvard grads who went to Yale for graduate school have their Harvard alumni status automatically revoked are entirely unfounded.

UPDATE: A friend of mine reports:

It's actually really hard to submit a valid petition for him. You have to use your "HarvardKey" credentials to get through the alumni association portal and verify your own identity a few times. Plus you also have to know the exact spelling of his name (Silverglate, not Silvergate) and that he was Harvard Law School class of 1967 for the submission to be valid.