Water Cooler 12/20/18 Open Thread; The Cost Of Victory

What Does It Take To Preserve Our Freedoms ?

Just how much do we as individuals have to be willing to do preserve our freedom and republic in this its third century of existence ? We all heard what it takes to preserve freedom but how many really do understand that yes it is something that can’t be taken for granted, that when someone says “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” they don’t mean standing around and shouting an alarm but actively going out to combat the enemies of freedom, because it’s not a given and there are far too many threats both foreign and domestic to be idle about.

Thankfully we still aren’t done, and the country still produces citizens willing to fight to preserve the ideals that define the country.

What would you do if your college told you, you couldn’t hand out copies of the constitution ? That freedom of speech on public property didn’t exist and you could only speak your mind in their designated “Free Speech Zone”. Well thankfully one student put his future at risk and after two years of legal struggles won.

In March 2017, Kevin Shaw (left), a student at Pierce College in California, sued the public community college when he was prevented from handing out Spanish-language copies of the Constitution by an administrator. Shaw was not in a college-designated free-speech zone at the time and didn’t have a school-endorsed permit to solicit literature.

Pierce College’s policies stated that it considered the campus a “non-public forum” except for areas designated as “free speech areas” with a normal flow of student traffic, Shaw’s attorneys said in a lawsuit filed in federal court.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (or FIRE), a Philadelphia-based First Amendment advocacy group, is representing Shaw along with a law firm. FIRE said the free-speech area represented 616 square feet on a 426 acre campus, and claimed the Pierce College free-speech policy was clearly unconstitutional.

–Constitution Daily

Non public forum is a euphemism for having revoked the first amendment rights of students on campus.  That they would have the right to discipline or expel students that would not comply and bend the knee to whatever arbitrary interpretation of what constituted acceptable speech on any given day.

Now nearly two years later and likely more time in court than most of us would wish on people we don’t like, Mr. Shaw has won a victory for all Americans.

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13, 2018 — The largest community college district in the country has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed last year after an administrator told a student his First Amendment rights were restricted to a tiny “free speech zone.”

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Community College District board of trustees agreed to open the main areas of Los Angeles Pierce College to student expression. The board also agreed to revoke an unconstitutional, district-wide policy that declared all property on its nine campuses to be “non-public forums” and therefore subject to severe speech restrictions. Roughly 150,000 students attend classes at LACCD.

Student Kevin Shaw’s lawsuit was the first in the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s Million Voices Campaign, which aims to free the voices of one million students by striking down unconstitutional speech codes across the country. As part of the settlement, the district agreed to pay $225,000 in attorneys’ fees.

–Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Not only a win but a major victory, the only way it could be better would be if the administrators who came up with the policy were personally on the hook for the attorney’s fees, instead of the California tax payers.

We should all look at this and remember that yes we do have to fight and that we can because others were willing before us.

 


Stealing from Diamondback here

RedState Slack – Realtime Chat and Private Messaging for the VRWC

Several of us commenters put heads together to address some longstanding desires for features the Disqus platform lacks like private user-to-user messaging, and we’ve started up a Slack server for private messaging and chat. If you’d like to join the fun Slacking Off after hours, your invitation to the party is here.

 

Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread