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George Mason U. Law School Dean gets it right

George Mason U. Law School Dean gets it right

George Mason University School of Law is considered “conservative,” at least by law school standards.

So when CAIR played the Islamophobe card and demanded that the school shut down a speech by Nonie Darwish , Dean Daniel Polsby said no thanks to CAIR’s attempt to squelch dissenting voices:

It appears that there is need to clarify the policy affecting speakers at the law school.

Student  organizations are allocated budget by the Student Bar Association in  order to allow them, among other things, to bring speakers to the law  school.  Neither the law school nor the university can be taken to  endorse such speakers or what they say.  Law school administration is  not consulted about these invitations, nor should we be.  Sometimes  speakers are invited who are known to espouse controversial points of  view.  So be it.  So long as they are here, they are free to say  whatever is on their mind within the bounds of law.   They cannot be  silenced and they will not be.

Just  as speakers are free to speak, protesters are free to protest.  They  must do so in a place and in a manner that respects the rights of  speakers to speak and listeners to listen, and that is in all other ways  consistent with the educational mission of the university.  Student  organizations which hold contrary points of view have every right to  schedule their own programs with their own speakers, and these speakers’  rights will be protected in just the same way.

The  law school will not exercise editorial control over the words of  speakers invited by student organizations, nor will we take  responsibility for them, nor will we endorse or condemn them.  There has  to be a place in the world where controversial ideas and points of view  are aired out and given space.  This is that place.

Daniel D. Polsby
Professor of Law, Dean


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At last, an adult in the room. Well said, Dean Polsby, well said.

This professor has ‘aired’ on the side magnanimity.

DINORightMarie | October 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Excellent. Very good to find at least one dean willing to stand for openness, truth, and what is right.

It appears that not even a selective history (or selective reality) will be sufficient to cow people into submission. Finally, we realize positive progress.

Good on him!

It is both sad and frightening that what was once the very foundation of liberalism now only finds a home in places labelled ‘conservative.’

Dean Polsby,

If you are ever in need of sunshine and warmth, UC Irvine is in need of someone like you.

Off topic … Chad & Jeremy also made an appearance on The Beverly Hillbillies.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to LukeHandCool. | October 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm


      LukeHandCool in reply to William A. Jacobson. | October 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Looks like nobody has uploaded it to youtube yet. I just searched and found nothing. But I did find this link … it was a Beverly Hillbillies episode filmed at Marineland. Marineland was on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, just south of LAX Airport. It closed circa 1988.

      LukeHandCool (who, as an undergrad, had an annual pass to Marineland and would often sit in the stands in the sun looking out over the beautiful Pacific Ocean and do his studying. Marineland was to him what the library was for most undergrads. And who is enjoying Chad & Jeremy Week).

The most amazing this is that any dean of any law school in this country would have to put these basic ideals in words.

The next steps by CAIR are painfully obvious, by their record

1) Decry the decision by the school as divisive, hateful, failing to pay attention to the needs of the minority students, and discriminatory.
2) Engage in a carefully selected series of activities calculated to be just on this side of legality to intimidate the speaker and the school administration to get the speech cancelled.
3) Picket the speech with as loud, obnoxious and annoying people as they can find (being a student will be optional).
4) At the same time, attend the speech and disrupt it with inane and insultful outbursts, shouting, screaming, and carrying on.

And afterwards, use the whole event as a wedge against any other school who might possibly extend an invitation to this speaker, hoping to elicit “Oh no, we don’t want that to happen here” responses from their administrations.

UC Irvine could not comprehend Dean Polby’s language. He would be speaking gibberish, as far as staff and students at UCI were concerned. T’would be waste of time, like putting lipstick on pigs – no offense intended to the Dean.

Also, I fear @ georgfelis is spot on. Could we have an update on what did or did not occur at GMU Law School afterward?