FIRE Debated at the ‘Chronicle’ Blog

By December 15, 2008

Check out the discussion on The Chronicle of Higher Education blog attached to Sara Lipka’s post about our 2009 speech code report. Apparently, some of the commentators have a skewed view of FIRE’s work and have not bothered to actually look at FIRE’s case history, the report itself, or the 100% successful legal campaign against campus speech codes. Given that every single speech code that FIRE has rated as a Red Light that has been challenged in court has either been overturned or repealed, we are justifiably pretty confident about our judgment on the constitutionality of campus codes.

For the skeptics, I have two questions: First, can you say with a straight face that any of the codes we have listed in our speech code report would pass constitutional muster? Second, have you taken the time to really examine our cases? Just a quick look at the cases we have handled over the last few months indicates a very serious problem on campus that cannot be eliminated simply by wishing it away. And for those commentators who persist in trying to dismiss FIRE as politically biased, I suggest you read this before proceeding to commentthat is, if you are at all serious about engaging in informed and reasoned debate. I suspect, however, that to some of our critics, facts do not matter a great deal.