Is Campus Free Speech in Danger When Law Students Are Saying “F—k the Law?

South Texas Law Professor Josh Blackman, who was years before head of the RNLA’s George Mason Law School Chapter, was speaking at a Federalist Society Chapter event at City University of New York Law School when he was protested. He details some of the reactions on his blog (post censored):

A student shouted out “F--k the law.” This comment stunned me. I replied, “F--k the law? That’s a very odd thing. You are all in law school. And it is a bizarre thing to say f--k the law when you are in law school.”

Cato Institute Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies Ilya Shapiro quotes another one of the ridiculous and self-defeating student protesters from the protest of Professor Blackman:

My favorite was probably the juxtaposition of signs saying “Your legal analysis is lazy and wrong” and “F-ck off”—both held by the same person. I mean, wow. Where to begin?

As Shapiro points out about the protest of Professor Blackman:

The latest “non-platforming” of a speaker at a purported academic institution happened to my good friend and sometime co-author Josh Blackman at City University of New York Law School two weeks ago, when he attempted to give a lecture on the importance of free speech on campus.

The last part is going to be of focus of a breakout panel at RNLA’s National Policy Conference on Friday featuring RNLA Vice President for Communications Harmeet Dhillon and Casey Mattox of the Charles Koch Institute.  The war on free speech is serious as shown when liberals ignore the law or attack those with whom they disagree.  Free speech on campus is an essential component of a viable debate.  Professor Blackman did his best to fight this and actually finished talking to six times as many students as he started. 

“I actually want to start by using the one legal argument you actually made.” (I deliberately paused to give them a chance to get the laughter out of their system.) I continued, “The violence exists in the law and it is a myth that law is inherently neutral. You said there is a myth of legal objectivity. So let me talk about legal objectivity for a few minutes. Someone did some excellent opposition research. Whoever did this, I applaud you. You found seven or eight bullets on various videos I’ve given over the years. I’d like to make a few points. You wrote, that I supported the President’s decision to rescind DACA. Now let me tell you something. I actually support the DREAM Act.”

As Shapiro concludes:

He also showed his skill as a teacher by making an object lesson of Obama’s Deferred Action for Child Arrivals executive orders, which seemed to be at the heart of the student opposition. “The lesson is you can support something as a matter of policy,” he began to explain before yet another interruption, “but find that the law does not permit it. And then the answer is to change the law.” . . . 

Gee, it’s no surprise that so many law students struggle to find jobs, and that was the case at CUNY even before the Great Recession. But more broadly, it saddens me that these kinds of attitudes have infected our public discourse. Everyone assumes the absolute worst about the other side’s motivations and couldn’t care less about following the proper procedures for getting what they want.

RNLA will further discuss this issue at its Policy Conference this Friday.