Today's newspapers carry the obituary for the somewhat accidental civil rights pioneer Mildred Loving, who died last Friday at 68. Loving and her late husband Richard were the plaintiffs in one of the most important civil rights cases ever to reach the Supreme Court. Their exquisitely- and aptly-named case, Loving v.
The ACLU has found itself a strong test case for determining
whether a student’s right to privacy is violated when he or she is
“outed” to the community by their school. A principal in Memphis, Tennessee,
apparently in order to cut down on public displays of affection in school,
asked her staff to put together a list of school couples, both straight and
gay, and then posted that list publicly, thereby outing an untold number of
student romances, including that of a 17-year old gay student, who is now suing
Every few weeks a story pops up about how someone – often a college student or an employee who has been fed propaganda to the effect that he or she is entitled to live an offense-free life – was “harassed” because someone else left nasty comments on their door dry-erase board, or some such thing. The most recent example comes from the University of North Dakota, where one student was just charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct for smearing ice cream on the wall of the dorm elevator to write the words “Scott is a Jew.
Last month, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (disclosure: for which TheFreeForAll blogger Harvey Silverglate serves as Chairman of the Board) noted that Colorado College had punished several students who published a parody of a campus feminist publication. FIRE is now reporting that the College has denied the students' appeal.
A popular viral video making the rounds on the internet shows New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman getting hit with a pie as he begins a speech at Brown University. The Brown Daily Herald reported yesterday that one of the students was taken into custody (but then released) by Brown police, while the second, who calls himself “Captain Custard” and may not have been a Brown student, remains unidentified.
We’ve written about prior restraints before on The Free For All, in the context of a court order that prevented a Boston TV station from broadcasting the results of autopsies of firefighters killed in the line of duty. As we wrote last fall, prior restraints on speech, and especially these kinds of court injunctions limiting publication of something before it’s actually published, are the most drastic form of censorship and are strongly disfavored by the courts – or at least by courts that are reasonably versed in constitutional law.
The front page of today's Boston Herald contains a startling bit of religious bigotry that
surely would not have made it past the editors had it been referring to a
church other than Scientology: “Dollars For ‘Cult’ Scholars,” screamed the
headline. “Hub charity gives $20G to proposed Scientology-linked school.”
There has been a lot of bleating from those who believe that
boycotting the Olympic Games over The People’s Republic of China’s abysmal
human rights record is in poor taste because the Olympiad is not a political
Personally, I think that, since the Olympiad pitches itself as a symbol of
fraternity and respect for individual achievement, a boycott over the choice of
as a host country is not entirely unreasonable.