Paul L. Caron

Friday, October 20, 2017

Law School Responses To Speech Protests, From Best (Georgetown) To Worst (Seattle, Thurgood Marshall)

GSTFollowing up on my previous posts:

American Lawyer, At Law Schools, Rowdy Protests Provide Teachable Moments:

Since February, when violent protests canceled a speech by provocative writer Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, colleges and universities nationwide have faced criticism for caving to opposition by canceling events.

Law schools have not escaped the clashes. The nationwide free-speech-on-campus debate took root at three law schools this fall as protesters opposed speakers or events, prompting widely different responses from schools.

Those reactions from law school administrators provide examples of best and worst practices in the free-speech realm, and they come at a time when First Amendment advocates say it’s more important than ever for law schools to be role models in upholding free speech. ...

[I]n the heat of the moment, law schools have made some missteps. Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston took the drastic measure of canceling an event that attracted protesters, effectively silencing the speaker. Another campus, Seattle University School of Law, upheld central free-speech rights but still let event organizers down in its response to protesters. A third, Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., however, seems to have struck the right balance.

Legal Education | Permalink


Are we in such bad shape as a country that law students have to be coddled and protecting from dissenting ideas?

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Oct 21, 2017 5:00:06 AM

Some animals are more equal than others.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 20, 2017 6:25:57 PM

My understanding of the situation at Texas Southern is that the university president and administration cancelled the event that was to be at the law school--not the law school dean.

Posted by: David | Oct 20, 2017 10:24:47 AM