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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

When the right hand doesn't know what the far right hand is doing

Posted by: Hammer / 3:28 PM

Those poor right wingers can't win for losing. The University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire wants to bar the use of student fees to promote ideological, religious, or political speech:
A civil-liberties group says the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is censoring the political and religious expression of students. That action, says the group, defies the First Amendment.

The Student Senate at UW-Eau Claire recently decided to bar the use of student fees to fund any student-organized activity that promotes a "particular ideological, religious, or partisan viewpoint." In that March 2005 action, the student government amended the school's "Organized Activity Funding Policy," and placed that policy directly at odds with federal law and rulings in Supreme Court cases such as Rosenberger v. University of Virginia (1995) and Board of Regents v. Southworth (2000).

David French, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), says UWEC is engaging in viewpoint discrimination against groups like Campus Crusade for Christ and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

I attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison law school while the Southworth case got started. Scott Southworth was a conservative student who didn't want his student activity fees to go to support certain political groups. Basically he argued that it violated his First Amendment rights to have to pay to support speech he disagreed with. The Supreme Court disagreed and allowed the fees so long as the fees are distributed in a way that is "viewpoint neutral".

See the hypocrisy? Five years ago the radical right was arguing that it shouldn't have to pay the fees to support certain speech. Now the radical right objects to a University's decision to end the fees that they didn't want to pay in the first place.

It's good to always be the victim.


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