public marks

PUBLIC MARKS from jasontromm with tags call & john

May 2006

UNC-Chapel Hill Suffers Major Defeat

In July of 2004, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) wrote to UNC-Chapel Hill, explaining for the second time in less than two years that constitutionally protected freedom of association is meaningless if a group cannot exclude people who do not share the beliefs of the group. This is both basic common sense and clearly established law. The College Democrats can exclude Republicans, the college environmental club can exclude students who hate environmentalism, and the college chess club can exclude members who hate the game and wish to see it abolished. In other words, if you form a group in order to express commonly held ideas or ideals, of course you can exclude those who disagree.

January 2006

UNC Should Pay Closer Attention to the First Amendment

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson wrote in the landmark case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943) that “if there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.” His words were a ringing affirmation of the freedoms of conscience and expression that are central to American liberty.

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