Campus Censorship Breeds Societal Dysfunction

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (or FIRE, whose board of directors I chair), has written a remarkable and groundbreaking new book: Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate. In it, he posits that pervasive censorship and disregard for due process on our nation’s campuses have disrupted the gears and self-correcting mechanisms essential for the functioning of our free society. In my latest column, I explain how the mindless totalitarianism that befouls the vast majority of our college campuses helps explain some of the injustices of our legal system. The degradation of important social and legal institutions begins somewhere, and I agree with Lukianoff that a lot of our problems start with what is happening in our sadly degenerated system of higher education.

You can find the piece on my Injustice Department blog.
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How Corrupted Language Moved from Campus to the Real World

Over the past dozen years, my main areas of law practice have resulted in two books: The Shadow University (co-authored with Alan Charles Kors), which discusses the deprivations of liberty and related absurdities on American campuses, and Three Felonies a Day, which recounts how vague statutes have made everyone a potential target of federal prosecutors. What connects these seemingly disparate phenomena? As I explain in this Minding the Campus blog entry, "the respective cultures of the college campus and of the federal government have each thrived on the notion that language is meant not to express one's true thoughts, intentions and expectations, but, instead, to cover them up." Rules and regulations-both on campus and in the real world have been expressed in language that no one can really understand. As a result, students and citizens have, with increasing frequency, inadvertently run afoul of the rules and have suffered for it.

[End of post.]
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