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First Amendment Lawsuit #417985
02/12/18 10:36 PM
02/12/18 10:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 3
Brooklyn, New York
D
DavidRoemer Offline OP
Junior Member
DavidRoemer  Offline OP
Junior Member
D
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 3
Brooklyn, New York
I filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Columbia U. for not letting me give a lecture/lesson on God's existence. It is now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. What follows is a link to the oral argument that took place on January 18, 2018:

https://www.buzzsprout.com/admin/episodes/627197-roemer-v-columbia-u

Re: First Amendment Lawsuit [Re: DavidRoemer] #417996
02/14/18 10:11 PM
02/14/18 10:11 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 994
Las Vegas
dochawk Offline
Member
dochawk  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 994
Las Vegas
As much as I support God, His existence, and the First Amendment, the last time I looked, Columbia was a private university, subject neither to the First Amendment itself nor application through the Fourteenth Amendment.

While I'm at it, the error of the US Supreme Court in finding the establishment clause, rather than only the free exercise clause, to be applicable to the states not only creates a bizarre exception the rules of constructing the 14th, but also did incalculable harm to society and religious freedom throughout the 20th century.

hawk, esq.

Re: First Amendment Lawsuit [Re: DavidRoemer] #418008
02/20/18 02:33 PM
02/20/18 02:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,353
Virginia!
Administrator Offline

John
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John
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Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,353
Virginia!
Generally speaking, private organizations should have the freedoms to welcome or deny speech by those who come on to their property.

However, when they sign up to accept taxpayer dollars those taxpayer dollars come with the requirement that they treat different viewpoints equally.

I don't know the details of this situation, so can't really comment other than to say that if Columbia University is accepting taxpayer dollars, and has allowed other similar lectures, then they should allow this one.

Re: First Amendment Lawsuit [Re: DavidRoemer] #418019
02/21/18 10:06 PM
02/21/18 10:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 994
Las Vegas
dochawk Offline
Member
dochawk  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 994
Las Vegas
While it's not my area of law, and it's possible that I missed a new opinion, AFAIK federal funding has never been pushed this far. It would allow the central government to get too involved the affairs of institutions.

For example, a court can delve into the sincerity of a person's religious beliefs, but not the truth thereof, or whether a doctrine is heretical to its institution.

If the federal money were highly directed rather than general, or targeted to another area, such standards *could* apply. For example, if the feds funded a lecture series, they could require neutrality or breadth in the series (and probably could not forbid it), but general student aid, or a chemistry lab, won't allow intrusion into political or religious affairs.

There *have* been programs (unconstitutional, IM!HO) broadly denying categories of funding, such as denial of all or parts of highway funds for speed limits or DUI laws, or Title IX (which has been badly abused), but these are far cry from a private right of action under the First Amendment. So far, in fact, that I would expect Rule 11 Sanctions to be more likely than success.

hawk, esq.


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