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February 17, 2007

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Frederick Hamilton

I concur with both Rick Garnett and Paul Horwitz in their critique of Prof Stone on his attempt to distinguish between Darfur and FAIR v Rumsfeld. It was also nice to see them discuss the hypocrisy of trying to have it both ways.

I wish Prof Stone would shine some light on Chicago's response to FAIR v Rumsfeld and how the decision making has taken place and is taking place within the University as a whole and the law school in particular regarding complying with the law as articulated by the Supreme Court decision in FAIR v Rumsfeld.

Once decided, to ignore it and pretend it never happened does a disservice to honest dialog regarding the issue of both free speech in the context of the decision and the discrimination regarding the don't ask don't tell DOD and the Solomon Amendment itself.

So, Garnett and Horwitz are right ot point out the problem in squaring the issue of when a university does or does not take a moral stand.

bob

I wonder if an alumnus of the College (1966), who has stumbled upon this blog, might be permitted a comment.
It seems to me that the Kalven Report is fundamentally bogus, e.g. in saying that the University "is not a lobby". In fact the University employs lobbyists
(http://www.opensecrets.org/lobbyists/clientsum.asp?txtname=University+of+Chicago&year=2005) and officers of the University have themselves lobbied in Washington. The issues for which the University lobbies need not be related to "fundamental interests of the University itself", apart from political questions. Thus in the 1980s the University lobbied for the Superconducting Supercollider - both for its support and for it to be sited at Fermilab - although many distinguished physicists, such as Nobelist Phil Anderson, and IIRC Albert Libchaber, then at Chicago, seriously disputed the desirability of building this accelerator at all.
I believe that the Chicago Board of Trustees, with the complicity of the Administration, has used the Kalven Report to justify doing whatever it wished to do anyway, ignoring the Report whenever what it wished to do was fundamentally political (and of course chosing to do nothing is also to take a political position), and invoking it whenever it didn't wish to be constrained in its activities.

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