No Death Penalty for Kids Justifies Speech Codes, or Something

July 30, 2014

By Greg Piper at The College Fix

Nancy Pelosi’s former senior adviser and San Francisco municipal official has a creative mind, no doubt about that.

Michael Yaki of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights questioned Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education at a briefing last week on sexual-harassment law in education. There’s a “tentative transcript” posted by First Amendment law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh, who also testified.

Writing at The Washington Post, Volokh notes that Yaki’s line of questioning suggests he supports “speech codes that ban speech and symbolic expression that is perceived as conveying a racist or sexist message.”

According to the transcript, Yaki justifies speech codes by pointing to the Supreme Court’s rejection of the death penalty for minors:

Certain factors in how the juvenile or adolescent or young adult brain processes information is vastly different from the way that we adults do.

So when we sit back and talk about what is right or wrong in terms of First Amendment jurisprudence from a reasonable person’s standpoint, we are really not looking into the same referential viewpoint of these people, of an adolescent or young adult, including those in universities. …

And because of that, and because of the unique nature of a university campus setting, I think that there are very good and compelling reasons why broader policies and prohibitions on conduct in activities and in some instances speech are acceptable on a college campus level that might not be acceptable say in an adult work environment or in an adult situation. [emphasis added]

There you have it, students! Your brains don’t work right yet, so you can neither be put to death for murder nor allowed to express yourself in the normal asinine ways adults (like Yaki) express themselves.

And you have a ready-made excuse for your professor why your last term paper was such crap.