Friday, November 02, 2007

California State University System Slapped For Unlawful "Civility Code"

It's a 2-fer this week, first the University of Delaware and now the entire CSU system.

Quoting respected lawblog The Volokh Conspiracy:

San Francisco State University Civility Code Temporarily Enjoined:

From The Recorder ($):

U.S. Magistrate Judge Wayne Brazil issued a temporary injunction against the CSU system Wednesday, in which he struck down a portion of the CSU conduct code that mandates students "be civil to one another." That language would likely not survive First Amendment scrutiny at trial, the magistrate found.

"It's fine to say, 'We hope you're civil to each other,'" Brazil said from the bench. "It's not fine to say, 'We'll punish you if you're not.'"

The magistrate also told the CSU system it can only discipline students for "intimidation" or "harassment" when the health or safety of another person is threatened. In addition, Brazil struck down language in the San Francisco State University student handbook that holds out the possibility of corrective action against student groups if their members behave in opposition to SFSU goals and principles.

The case grows out of an anti-terrorism rally held last year by College Republicans at SFSU. The event turned testy when the Republicans stomped on Hamas and Hezbollah flags bearing "Allah" written in Arabic script. Onlookers from the school's Muslim community objected, and one started to climb on stage to remove the flag, according to the university's court filings. The two sides engaged in heated debate.

After the protest, the school received a complaint alleging the Republicans had violated the student code by attempting to "incite violence" and create a hostile environment, the school says in its court filings. After an investigation, the complaint against the Republicans was dismissed....

For more on the incident, see here.

You can also see here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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