Faculty at Georgetown University’s Law Center are protesting an upcoming visit by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is scheduled to deliver a speech about “free speech on college campuses ” to the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. The visit was announced just a day before Sessions' appearance.
We, the undersigned, condemn the hypocrisy of Attorney General Sessions speaking about free speech. Sessions is a key cabinet member in an administration headed by a President who spent last weekend denouncing athletes engaging in free expression and calling for them to be fired.
The letter calls out efforts by the Trump administration to suppress free speech, including Donald Trump's denouncement of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, the ongoing prosecution of Desiree Fairooz, who was arrested for laughing during Jeff Session's confirmation hearing, and a warrant intended to identify people who organized a protest of Trump’s inauguration.
Jeff Sessions: "The government does not tell you what to think or what to say.”— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) September 26, 2017
Also Sessions: Convicts an activist for laughing at him.
This kind of government chilling of speech is precisely what the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is meant to prevent. A man who fails to recognize paradigmatic violations of the First Amendment is a poor choice to speak about free speech on campuses.
One professor, Heidi Feldman, said she and her fellow professors recognized the right of their colleague, Randy Barnett, to invite Sessions to campus.
I have never seen a faculty so quickly and so numerously object to any speaker coming to campus, let alone an Attorney General of the United States of America. It is insulting to the community, to the idea of freedom of expression, and therefore to the very point of a law school, which is supposed to be communicating uncontested legal values.
To my sorrow, a colleague with a “center” at Georgetown has chosen to have AG Sessions speak at Georgetown Law tomorrow. 1/— Heidi Li Feldman (@HeidiLiFeldman) September 25, 2017
My colleague has the right to give AG Sessions this platform. 2/— Heidi Li Feldman (@HeidiLiFeldman) September 25, 2017
Every other faculty member has a right and, I would argue, obligation to protest AG Sessions’ appearance at Georgetown Law tomorrow. 3/— Heidi Li Feldman (@HeidiLiFeldman) September 25, 2017