Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Lawyer wannabes against the First Amendment

Our View

By The Madison County Record | Nov 10, 2015

Ever notice how people demanding tolerance are often intolerant? How people protesting the imposition of values on them are actively and relentlessly, overtly and covertly, trying to impose their values on others?

The University of Missouri School of Law’s Student Bar Association (SBA) recently released a new social media policy that was utterly intolerant of anything deemed to be intolerant.

Students were advised to forgo posting anything online that might be viewed as “negative or inappropriate,” to avoid mentioning other persons by name, and to refrain from commenting anonymously – unless, of course, it was to comment anonymously to the intolerance committee on other students' alleged violations of the “official guidelines.”

Such denunciations were described as “the duty of each member of the SBA,” timid tattletales being assured that allegations would be “kept anonymous and in confidence.”

Some law students protested, the bullies in the would-be Star Chamber panicked, and the guidelines were suspended.

But the fact that they were ever considered by students (allegedly) studying the legal foundation of a nation built on open dissent should be unnerving to the rest of us. If you assumed that every law school graduate in America believed in freedom of speech, you were wrong.

It matters to all of us because when these lawyers make it into the real world, they’re the ones who will try to use their law degrees to bully and extort non-lawyer citizens.

Unsatisfied with the democratic process, they’ll seek to impose the laws they want on the rest of us by courtroom diktat.

Sometimes, they’ll claim it’s in the name of their values. Always, it will benefit their pocketbooks.

And they think they can get away with it because they have a J.D. after their name.

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University of Missouri - Columbia