no hecklers veto

By August 28, 2013

Because it is a special kind of community, whose purpose is the discovery of truth through the practice of free inquiry, a university has an essential dependence on a commitment to the values of unintimidated speech. To curb speech on the grounds that an invited speaker is noxious, that a cause is evil, or that such ideas will offend some listeners is therefore inconsistent with a university’s purpose. One may argue against inviting a speaker on the grounds that the speaker has nothing of importance to say. But once members of the university community extend an invitation, others may not disrupt the speech on the grounds that they find it stupid, immoral, or dangerous.