Turkish Coalition: Lawsuit dismissal threatens academic freedom

David Saltzman and Bruce Fein of the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund argue in the Minnesota Daily what a court’s recent dismissal of the lawsuit over the University’s “blacklisting” of the coalition’s Web site will lead to:

We think this will lead to state universities being able to prohibit student research of authors or viewpoints that contradict its dogmas by waving a counterfeit “academic freedom” flag. Books authored by Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Republicans or Democrats could be censored to indoctrinate students in state-decreed orthodoxies.

The dismissal mocked the idea that free speech and inquiry is most urgent on university campuses to avoid political or intellectual stagnation. It defied Justice Robert Jackson’s sermon in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”