Tuesday, April 25, 2006


As I mentioned before, the recent 9th Circuit Court decision regarding Harper v. Poway Unified School Dist., represents one of the greatest threats to our individual liberty in quite a while. Eugene Volokh has some further thoughts on a judge who would willingly uphold the constitutionality of pro-Taliban speech, but considers criticism of homosexuality as unprotected by that same constitution:
I'll say it again: Under existing First Amendment precedents, there is a viewpoint-neutral First Amendment exception for disruptive speech in schools. Sometimes speech that's hostile based on race, religion, or sexual orientation -- as well as speech that offends people for a wide variety of other reasons -- might indeed lead to substantial disruption, and thus might be restricted.

But this is at least a facially viewpoint-neutral standard that potentially applies to speech on all perspectives, and doesn't categorically cast out certain student viewpoints from First Amendment protection. While the standard isn't without its problems, it is at least basically consistent with the First Amendment principle of "equality of status in the field of ideas." And there are quite plausible arguments that the government as K-12 educator should have still broader authority over speech in public schools (though this too would be a viewpoint-neutral First Amendment exception). What bothers me is the Ninth Circuit's newly minted viewpoint-based First Amendment exception, which singles out certain ideas for lack of constitutional protection.

This is the sort of sloppy thinking that we've come to expect from many of the politically correct, multicultural crowd. It is disconcerting to see that the cognitive style that encourages thinking of that sort is pervasive in our culture and even in the judiciary--a place that we depend on to be free from the changing passions of the culture and champions of reason.

Ah well. Yet another institution done in by the political rhetoric and absurd fallacies of postmodern thought.

We are slowly being poisoned by the toxic effect this philosophical mutation has on reason, reality, and individual freedom.

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