Paul L. Caron
Dean


Friday, August 9, 2019

Conservative 3L Says Gonzaga Law School's Liberal Bias Infringes His First Amendment Rights

Following up on my previous posts:

ABA Journal:  Conservative Student Says Law School Biases Infringe on His Right to Free Speech, by Austin Phelps (3L, Gonzaga):

As a third-year law student, I have the concerns that any other 3L has: getting my reading assignments done before class starts, completing internship work, passing the bar exam and finding gainful employment. In addition, when I don my “Make America Great Again” hat, I add the concerns of ostracization among my peers and castigation from professors—the very people I have come to professionally admire.

Having had Jeffrey Omari as a professor, I have known his political leanings for almost one year. As a student in his class, I was present wearing conservative apparel, including a MAGA hat, Trump-Pence 2020 T-shirt and several related stickers on my laptop. After reading his article, I understand why I was not called on with the frequency that left-leaning students enjoyed. The article further creates a feeling of unwelcomeness from Omari toward students of different mindsets. ...

Wearing a MAGA hat or any other conservative paraphernalia does not make me a white supremacist, anti-Semite, bigot or any other stereotype that may be misapplied. The purpose of wearing a MAGA hat is to identify as a supporter of Donald Trump and as a believer in conservative values.

Howard Wasserman (Florida International), MAGA Student Speaks:

[Phelps] also complains [being] called out for wearing a build-the-wall t-shirt to his "university-affiliated internship," which he attributes to Omari's op-ed, as well as being subject to a neutral (although never-before-enforced) rule banning t-shirts with slogans from that internship.

Yahoo! News, Law Student Defends Wearing MAGA Hat to Class After Professor Calls It a ‘Symbol of White Supremacy’:

Phelps went on to state that freedom of speech allows him to wear such apparel, and that it “allows me to tell Omari that he is wrong, and that his interpretation of a MAGA hat is nothing but a grotesque attack on the politics of a student." ... The third-year law student further claimed that he and fellow conservative students do not speak up for fear of placing a "target" on their backs in law school.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/08/conservative-student-says-gonzaga-law-schools-liberal-bias-infringes-his-first-amendment-rights-.html

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Comments

Speaking from personal experience at a non-elite midwestern law school, it is definitely true that we sometimes had to tip toe around speaking what we thought. I vividly remember the day after Trump was elected. The atmosphere in school was like at a funeral. When I bumped into a fellow conservative student, I looked both ways and quietly fist-bumped him to celebrate Hillary's loss.

Posted by: brad | Aug 9, 2019 6:06:32 AM

You know you're not supposed to put your hand through the bars of the lion's cage don't you?
You can't reason with progressives any more than you can teach a pig to sing.

Posted by: Jim Ellison | Aug 9, 2019 6:36:01 AM

Oh boo hoo. Try navigating law school, internships, and job applications as a gender nonconforming student who doesn't want to dress traditionally. He could have used the experience to gain some valuable insight into the experiences of those who don't look like him. Instead, he whines that he wasn't given his accustomed privileged position and "safe space" that he likely sneers at in other contexts.

Posted by: Joe | Aug 9, 2019 6:39:34 AM

Samesies at my law school, brad.

Those brainwashed liberals were so vewy sad that day. Hehehehe.

I'm a little sad that I'll have to miss witnessing the 2020 version.

Posted by: Anon | Aug 9, 2019 8:02:06 AM

Oh Joe, where to begin. 1) This isn't a victim competition; as conservatives, we wholeheartedly reject your place on the victimization stack. Everybody has it hard in different ways. 2) It wasn't about people different from him in appearance - that's YOUR prejudice. This was about viewpoint diversity - him being the only 'out' conservative in class. Being conservative has nothing to do with race, except to bigots who assume if you're black you're democrat/liberal and if you're white you're republican/conservative. 3) He wasn't looking for privilege, he just wanted an equal voice and representation. 4) He doesn't want a safe space; that's where democrats, hate speech laws, and censorship come from. Free thought is UNSAFE thought.

In short, you're an idiot.

Posted by: David Krishan | Aug 9, 2019 8:25:50 AM

Try navigating law school, internships, and job applications as a gender nonconforming student who doesn't want to dress traditionally.

1: The 1st Amendment protects the right of people to express their views, even when fascists like you don't like them. If you aren't willing to accept that, GTFO, and move to some garbage place like the EU, where the fascists get to decide who is allowed to speak, and what they're allowed to say.

2: Being mentally deranged is not a political statement. It's a mark of your idiocy that you can't seem to figure that out. You chose to show your derangement to the world. That's your choice, and your problem. The 1st Amendment does allow you to force the rest of us to pretend you're not a nut

3: If one of your professors publicly attacked you the way Omari attacked Phelps, and, for example, claimed that you only cross dress because you are a voyeur who wants to spy upon the opposite sex, you would flip out, and you and your left wing thug allies would protests, trash the campus, and demand the professor be fired.


"He could have used the experience to gain some valuable insight into the experiences of those who don't look like him."

4: Typical leftist fascist. The only "diversity" allowed is in looks, not thought.

Pro tip: the only diversity that matters is diversity of thought. Havign multiple people who look different, but all think the same, is not "diverse"

Posted by: Greg Q | Aug 9, 2019 8:59:56 AM

Conservative student confuses government not restricting the freedom of speech with a law professor at a private law school not calling on him for every question; also confuses freedom of speech with freedom of speech without consequences/criticism of that speech. Film at eleven.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 9, 2019 9:17:32 AM

Try navigating law school, internships, and job applications as a gender nonconforming student who doesn't want to dress traditionally.

Come, I will conceal nothing from you: I don't have a lot of sympathy for anybody who doesn't want to dress appropriately in an academic, semi-professional, or professional context. This includes both political t-shirt wearers and cross-dressers.

Instead, he whines that he wasn't given his accustomed privileged position and "safe space" that he likely sneers at in other contexts.

He's alleging that his professors are discriminating against him on the basis of his expressed political viewpoints and demanding that they stop. That's a value-neutral argument that has nothing whatsoever to do with the "privileged position" you imagine he occupies.

Posted by: BC | Aug 9, 2019 10:39:24 AM

Hey Joe
1) How do YOU know they don't look like him?
2) I don't think it's a whine and unless his "accustomed privileged position" is the one YOU enjoy then all he's asking is to be treated as fairly "gender nonconforming student who doesn't want to dress traditionally."

Posted by: James | Aug 9, 2019 11:40:16 AM

Notice how Joe views this as the perfect opportunity to punish people he scapegoats.

Posted by: wodun | Aug 9, 2019 2:18:21 PM

Look, if you're going to wear a hat supporting an openly racist politican, "ostracization among my peers and castigation from professors" is probably a predictable and socially healthy outcome.

Omari, to be sure, probably should have just shrugged off the MAGA kid, regardless of the racism, rather than writing his own column. Don't roll around in the mud with pigs, etc. etc. But I am absolutely not going to feel bad for some idiot racist kid who feels bad because people think he's a jerk for wearing a racist hat.

Perhaps this kid should try some introspection rather than whining online. Why, he should consider, might he be getting this reaction from "the very people I have come to professionally admire"?

Posted by: The Haberdasher | Aug 9, 2019 4:04:18 PM

There are going to be more suits like this as everything becomes politicized.

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Aug 10, 2019 3:34:26 AM

I have to laugh at all this self-righteous stuff from the conservatives in the comments. Imagine the respect and reception liberals would get at a Trump rally. Mr. Trump would suggest they be injured or shot and he'd pay for their defense and the crowd would scream and chant in hearty approval. Sieg Hiel.

Posted by: Jerry B | Aug 10, 2019 6:59:00 AM

You poor little Victim why not get a neck and Forehead tat and then whine about how people Judge you for that! If you were so worried about "Liberal Bias" at law School why did you not go to Liberty? Are you going to carry your Trumpy Bear to interviews also?

Posted by: Ron Martin | Aug 10, 2019 8:26:41 AM

Imagine the respect and reception liberals would get at a Trump rally.

Liberals attending a Trump rally are generally not paying lavish tuition to the hosts in expectation of receiving formal education (as opposed to derision) from the speakers.

Please drive through.

Posted by: BC | Aug 12, 2019 10:16:39 AM

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