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Cornell Republicans Fight NY GOP Expulsion Over Gary Johnson Endorsement

Cornell Republicans Fight NY GOP Expulsion Over Gary Johnson Endorsement

Is this really a free speech issue?

As we reported recently, the College Republicans at Cornell University were stripped of their credentials by the New York Federation of College Republicans for endorsing Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

The group is now fighting to be reinstated.

The Cornell Daily Sun reports:

Cornell Republicans Fight Expulsion, Enlist Attorney in Appeal to National Committee

The Cornell College Republicans filed an administrative appeal with the College Republican National Committee today demanding to be immediately reinstated to the New York Federation of College Republicans.

The N.Y. Federation of College Republicans revoked recognition of the Cornell Chapter after they endorsed Independent candidate Gary Johnson for president on Sept. 2, chastising the group for breaking party lines.

The Cornell Republicans’ lawyer, Ronald L. Kuby J.D. ’83, drafted the appeal to Alex Smith, the National Chair of the College Republicans National Committee, stating that the rights of the Cornell Republicans were violated over the course of the expulsion.

In his letter, Kuby blamed the Chair of the New York Federation of College Republicans, Eli Nachmany — who he calls a “Trump supporter” working on the Republican candidate’s campaign — for calling an abrupt executive board vote, which resulted in a disregard for free speech protections. Nachmany did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“I write to you to take an appeal from the outrageous violations of my client’s free speech and due process rights perpetrated by Nachmany … when he revoked the credentials of the Cornell Republicans and suspended them as a member of the Federation without notice and in violation of the Federation’s constitution and bylaws,” Kuby wrote in the letter.

Arguing that the federation’s constitution only stipulates support for “conservative” principles and candidates, not specifically Republican ones, Kuby asserted that the federation vote violated the association’s own constitution. He also pointed out that there is no mechanism for expelling college Republican chapters, indicating that the revocation was both hasty and unprecedented.

I reached out to the Cornell Republicans for comment and received this statement from their Second Vice Chair, David Navadeh:

“As an Evangelical Christian, I personally will be voting for Donald Trump since I believe he and particularly Mike Pence will best promote issues important to Christians, such as limiting and outlawing abortions. However, I very much support the Cornell Republicans’ decision to endorse Gary Johnson since I believe this promotes a healthy political discussion on campus. My biggest criticism of Donald Trump is that he lacks civility and stifles good conversation rather than promote it.

In endorsing Gary Johnson, we are showing a true desire to have a respectful political conversation with anyone on campus. In our many Executive Board meetings where we arrived at this endorsement, one of our biggest goals was to leave aside our own specific political views and move in the direction that is best for the club. I think we did this very successfully and I hope this promotes a better voter turnout in the college student demographic. Countless men and women have put their lives on the line for us to enjoy the freedom of voting, and as Republican leadership on campus, we want to demonstrate that we engage in the political process rather than shy away from it during an unconventional election year.”

Casey Breznick, who has written for Legal Insurrection, has written a response to the Cornell Republicans’ legal actions at the Cornell Review:

Cornell Republicans Get a Lawyer With an Interesting Track Record

After endorsing Gary Johnson for President, Cornell Republicans were de-recognized by the New York Federation of College Republicans.

To most conservatives on campus, the Federation’s actions made sense. However, Cornell Republicans leadership was not not too happy about that, and today it was reported by the Cornell Sun that they filed an administrative appeal with the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) for immediate reinstatement in the New York Federation.

According to the Sun report, Cornell Republicans have enlisted the services of an attorney, Ron Kuby J.D. ’83.

In his letter, Kuby blamed the Chair of the New York Federation of College Republicans, Eli Nachmany — who he calls a “Trump supporter” working on the Republican candidate’s campaign — for calling an abrupt executive board vote, which resulted in a disregard for free speech protections. Nachmany did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

One strains to understand how this is a free speech issue, but surely with Kuby taking on the case, Cornell Republicans must have something. Kuby is, after all, no amateur lawyer. Here are a few of his past clients:

– The “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman – connections to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, terrorist attacks in Egypt leading to over a 1,000 deaths 1993 alone, and another plot to bomb New York City landmarks including the United Nations Building and the Brooklyn Bridge
– El Sayyid Nosair – accused but ultimately acquitted for the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane and later convicted for New York City landmark bombing plot; accusations that Osama Bin Laden and family financed his legal defense
– Dr. Alan Berkman ’67 – convicted of armed robbery and explosives possession and a member of domestic terrorist group Weather Underground
– Yu Kikumura – a member of the Japanese Red Army, a communist militant group, convicted of interstate transport of explosives

We’ll keep an eye on this story for future developments.

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Comments

legacyrepublican | September 16, 2016 at 9:06 am

They are branded as Republicans. Those who own the brand have the right to take it away from them if they abuse that brand.

It would be the same as a McDonalds suddenly deciding to sell Wendy’s style hamburgers in Wendy’s packaging at the counter.

Confusion isn’t the hallmark of good branding.

Oh for gods sake! These children are bloody clowns! Why don’t they just go start a new group called idiots for HRC and just be done with it.

If they are Republicans then it only stands to reason that they support the Republican nominee, not some other idiot who’s only purpose is to prop up HRC.

Mailman

Private groups are entitled to set their own rules. However, lacking any bylaw authorizing an action outside those rules, they are subject to litigation to enforce adherence, much as a homeowner may challenge excesses of his own Homeowners Association in court (unless prohibited by its charter – pays to check these things out before signing a contract).

Given the elements now in control of the national GOP, no sort of authoritarian power grab seems impossible.

conservative tarheel | September 16, 2016 at 9:29 am

well lets see .. the GOP nominated an individual who is a lifelong
Dem … supports Dem proposals .. has stated that the Dem nominee
would make a great president. gives money to dem’s and their
super pacs …
maybe we should strip the GOP of THEIR brand ….

My first two impressions on this were:
“So what Senate and House candidates do they support, both national and state?”
“That’s… not exactly the client list of a lawyer I would want to represent the Cornell Republicans. The Cornell Democrats, maybe. The Cornell Anarchists, sure.”

buckeyeminuteman | September 16, 2016 at 9:45 am

If you want to be branded as a Republican you have to accept their nominee; hook, line and sinker…

Subotai Bahadur | September 16, 2016 at 9:56 am

While the branding issue is on point, in that as much as the #NeverTrumpers hate it, Trump IS the Republican nominee, there is another point for consistency.

The #NeverTrumpers and the Eggs McMuffin supporters are functionally working for Hillary and are still allowed to claim to be Republicans.

We never see them attacking Hillary or the Democrats, because they see them as allies against Trump.

I suspect that after any putative election in November, whether it comes off and regardless of who wins, that the entity now called the Republican party will not exist as previously constituted any more.

Having Kuby as your lawyer is almost as bad as Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote as a house guest. A prosecutor would be proud of his conviction rate.

This like Chevrolet saying that they will for Ford for the car of the year award! I can only imagine what GM would have to say about that!

So … the College Republicans want to endorse a candidate who isn’t running as a Republican … and when told they can’t wear their “College Republican” hats while they do that, the hire a lawyer to argue that their imaginary rights are being abrogated.

That seems like a very liberal approach.

Funny. Guys, the Republican Party had left you. Deal with it.

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