Phi Beta Cons

The Fear Factor

Building on my post below, there is a simple and powerful reason why there have not been more lawsuits brought by students against their university’s policies: Fear. The campus left relies not merely on a ideologically monolithic administrators to enforce campus orthodoxy, but often resorts to intimidation, theft, and actual threats of violence. Take the case of Orit Sklar and Ruth Malhotra at Georgia Tech. As I have discussed before, Ruth has been subjected to multiple and ongoing physical threats since she filed suit against Tech (a suit that has so far caused Tech to repeal its unlawful speech code and change its unlawful speech zone policy). At first the threats came by e-mail and included promises to “choke” her or “throw acid” in her face. Then more threats came — through printed pages in her campus mailbox — until she was forced to involve Georgia Tech police. On Tuesday, she received yet another threat in campus mail. This one is worth quoting in full (it was written as a poem):

A V-Day wish for our very own Ruth Malhotra: This

Valentine’s Day, you cannot attack gay marriage. It

Is about love and you are about hate.

This Valentine’s Day, you cannot condemn a

Woman’s choice. It is about love and you are about hate.

This Valentine’s Day, you cannot protest the Vagina

Monologues. It is about love and you are about hate.

No, this Valentine’s Day, you will be raped. Sex is

About love and through it you will experience hate.

I cannot wait.

When schools continue to maintain unconstitutional policies in the face of overwhelming judicial precedent, they are doing something a bit worse than defying the law. They are maintaining a system that may force some of their own students to run a gauntlet of intimidation and threats as a precondition to restoring freedoms the university should take the lead in protecting. Ruth and Orit are exhibiting real courage in their fight for liberty at Georgia Tech. Next week, the last briefs will be filed dealing with the remaining claims in their case, and then the matter will be in the judge’s hands. They have already won critical victories by forcing fundamental change in the university’s speech code and speech zone policies, and now we shall see if they win the rest of their case. But win or lose, they deserve our gratitude and respect. They could not be intimidated or threatened away from seeking justice and protecting liberty.