FIRE Legal Fellow Reviews New Book on Academic Freedom for ‘Reason’

March 11, 2013

In a piece posted yesterday on, FIRE’s Justice Robert H. Jackson Legal Fellow Catherine Sevcenko reviews Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge, by Marjorie Heins. She writes:

Heins makes a strong case that we must "defend the First Amendment principle of academic freedom as a limit on what government officials, including administrators of public institutions, can do to their teachers and students." She illustrates that the potential for abuse is still great, including a chapter on the suppression of academic speech after 9/11. In doing so, she demonstrates the importance of defending academic freedom against public intolerance of dissent in times of crisis-exactly the times when the country should draw on all its intellectual resources. The preservation of liberty requires Keyishian’s affirmation of academic freedom and the importance of universities as a repository of unorthodox ideas.

Head over to and check out Catherine’s review!