Sympathy is hard to find in conversations about politics. But at recent events on college campuses, this response is in especially short supply toward disruptive mobs with a political axe to grind. For the second time in two weeks, demonstrators intent on canceling an event have shouted down an invited speaker, and on both occasions, observers on the right and left, on- and off-campus, were quick to condemn the censorship.
On Wednesday, a student mob at UPenn blocked a speech from former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency Director Tom Homan. A video posted on CampusReform.org shows students shouting over at least two adults who tried to maintain order.
Goldwater Senior Fellow Jonathan Butcher writes about the surprising reaction to the UPenn mob, another troubling incident at Georgetown, and how states can follow the Goldwater Institute model to ensure that the freedom of speech is protected at public universities. Read Butcher’s latest article here. Meanwhile, the Goldwater Institute is calling for discipline at the University of Arizona, where students shouted down Border Patrol speakers in March. Read more here.
Like the title of one of his most famous lectures, abolitionist and civil rights leader Frederick Douglass was very much a self-made man, who deeply understood the need for self-dependence in order to be truly free.
Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur is the author of the book Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man, and he recently spoke about Douglass’s life and views in a just-released video for Prager University. Click here to watch the video on our blog.
An attorney in Michigan has had enough. For 48 years, Lucille Taylor has been forced to be a dues-paying member of her state’s bar association in order to practice her profession, and that organization has spoken on her behalf against her will. That’s a violation of Taylor’s First Amendment rights, and she’s just one example of Americans who are taking a stand.
With the help of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, Taylor has filed a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s mandatory bar association. And with good reason: The State Bar of Michigan uses members’ mandatory dues to engage in political advocacy, including supporting legislation on issues that aren’t even related to the Bar’s supposed purpose of regulating the practice of law.
Michigan isn’t the only line in the sand for the First Amendment. The Goldwater Institute is leading the nation in defending American’s First Amendment rights and is representing attorneys challenging mandatory bar membership dues in North Dakota, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Meanwhile, our allies in liberty at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and the Liberty Justice Center have each filed a lawsuit to protect the free speech and association rights of Wisconsin attorneys. Another suit is challenging Texas’s mandatory bar. Learn more about these cases here.