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View Diary: McCARTHYISM IN OHIO: SB 24, Ohio law to muzzle "liberals" (143 comments)

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  •  Is this law supposed to apply to state (none)
    institutions only or to all institutions in Ohio?
    •  All institutions of higher education, (none)
      both state and private.

      It's very alarming.

      •  I can't say why (none)
        but it smells unconsitutional
        •  No doubt; but not inevitably. (none)
          There is no "separation of church and state" issue here that I can see in the bill's language.  It's really conservative hatred of liberal viewpoints, masked as protection of "freedom."  It would be tricky, at least as far as I can tell, to argue that it specifically prohibits one group's point of view, for example.  In any event I certainly hope that should it ever pass (and God I hope it doesn't), that it is quickly determined to be unconstitutional.
          •  State mandated speech (none)
            would seem to be the tack to take.  The state may regulate the time, manner and place of speech (to the best of my recollection) but may not regulate content--except in terms of obscenity (again, to the best of my recollection).

            Yes, I'm a proud Massachusetts Liberal, and fuck you for saying that's a bad thing.

            by MAJeff on Fri Jan 28, 2005 at 08:18:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Can't regulate private institutions (none)

        That provision will get struck down for sure.  State govts have very little ability to regulate the content of instruction at private universities.  Certainly, it would be both crazy and unconstitutional to apply those sorts of rules to religious institutions, and even regular private universities have wide lattitude to set their own curriculums or even to restrict students' 1st amendment rights in ways that state institutions can not.
        •  Right, it's surprising that they include (none)
          private, but I suspect that what's going on here is the subtle threat, eventually, of losing the small amount of state funding for certain programs that even private institutions accept.
        •  Academic Freedom at Private Universities (none)
          That private universities can get away with violating academic freedom of students and faculty, is not in my view, a good thing. A legislature can define by statute the right to free speech in the private sector, in or out of academia.
          •  Not Exactly (none)
            Your right to free speech goes out the window on company time. Doesn't matter whether your employer is small business, big public corporation, academia, or a government agency.

            vote early - vote often

            by wystler on Fri Jan 28, 2005 at 09:50:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Debating this bill (4.00)
        I think the wording and intent of the bill should be debated. We should not in principle oppose this bill. Parts of this bill are very good and could actually strengthen academic freedom.

        Firstly, consider carefully whether or not as an academic you already have "academic freedom" as a matter of law. Chances are, you have a lot less than you think you have. The AAUP (Association of American University Professors) defines a very broad range of expression by faculty as academic freedom. You can read the AAUP statement on academic freedom here .

        Chances are your University has a similar statement in its faculty handbook or Union Contract. However, that statement in your faculty handbook may or may not mean anything. It is more meaningful and legally enforceable in your Union Contract. If you are a private University employee and are untenured, you may have no legally enforceable guaranteed of academic freedom at all.

        If you are a non-tenured faculty member at a non-Union state institution, you have much narrower rights as a State Employee under the First Amendment. You may or may not (and most likely do not) have due process rights. And the legal precedents make it very easy for a determined administrator to find some other reason to fire you and hide the speech related reason. And in addition, they can fire you for a "mixed motive" (they can fire you because they don't like your speech *and* because you got poor teaching evaluations as determined by the University). Furthermore, you probably don't have any First Amendment rights to participate in curricular decisions or to present material outside the determined curriculum.

        If you want precedents, I can dig this up but I can't do it immediately.

        Academic Freedom is really not very well protected at all when it really comes down to it. This law, because it will define academic freedom, and the right to grieve on matters related to academic freedom by statute, could actually strengthen academic freedom.

        Note, I say *could* because parts of this bill could do a lot of damage. That is why, however, we need to steer clear of knee-jerk responses to this bill and seek to improve the language and endorse the good parts of this bill.

        To sum up, this bill might be endorsed by a right wing yahoo (and lord knows we have plenty of them in the Ohio legislature), but if we are smart, we could actually use this bill for a purpose the right wingers didn't intend.

        •  Oh yes we should oppose it (4.00)
          At least in its current form. Right now, it has nothing at all to do with actual academic freedom and everything to do with silencing and policing liberals and forcing universities to hire conservatives, regardless of whether or not they are qualified for the job (notice this is different from race-based affirmative action, where applicants still need to be qualified to be hired).

          Do not fall for this. At all.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Fri Jan 28, 2005 at 08:50:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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