The Torch

FIRE Chairman Harvey Silverglate in the 'Wall Street Journal'

April 16, 2010

FIRE Co-founder and Chairman Harvey Silverglate has written an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal tackling the First Amendment issues at stake in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which goes before the high court on Monday. Harvey asks: "Can a public university force a Christian student group to accept as leaders students who explicitly reject core tenets of the group's faith? On Monday the Supreme Court will entertain precisely this question—and the First Amendment right to freedom of association hangs in the balance." In February, Harvey submitted the amici brief that FIRE and national student group Students for Liberty filed with the Supreme Court in the case on behalf of the Christian Legal Society. Read Full Article

The Torch

FIRE's Case at Duke Gets National Attention in 'Boston Globe,' 'Washington Times,' 'The Atlantic'

April 15, 2010

FIRE's exposé of Duke University's unjust sexual misconduct policy—a policy that transmogrifies students into unwitting rapists—is drawing the attention of some of America's best-known publications. In The Boston Globe, Cathy Young brings analysis and an original perspective to Duke's policy, while FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley has a column of his own in today's Washington Times. Meanwhile, The Atlantic's Wendy Kaminer, a member of FIRE's Board of Advisors, tackles the policy's defective procedures and the political assumptions underlying the policy. Duke, meanwhile, has remained silent, making it increasingly obvious that it cannot defend this outrageously unfair policy. Read Full Article

The Torch

Southwestern College Receives Jefferson 'Muzzle' Award for Egregious Censorship

April 13, 2010

The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has awarded a 2010 "Jefferson Muzzle"—a dubious distinction reserved for "egregious or ridiculous affronts to the First Amendment right of free speech"—to administrators at California's Southwestern College. The public college earned its Muzzle by "consistently refusing to heed and apply such clear principles of free expression in the governance of an institution of higher learning" in dealing with a peaceful student and faculty protest over budget cuts. The college banned from campus faculty members who participated in the protest. FIRE has been extensively involved in defending the faculty members and advocating for the dismantling of Southwestern's unconstitutional "free speech zone." This is the third consecutive year that a school at the center of a FIRE case has been awarded a Jefferson Muzzle. Read Full Article

The Torch

Temple University Chills Expression in the Wake of Geert Wilders Event

April 12, 2010

Temple University's irreconcilable actions regarding a student group that brought Dutch politician Geert Wilders to campus have left students utterly in the dark about what Temple will do the next time a controversial speaker comes to campus. Temple unconstitutionally charged the group for extra security after the event, but after FIRE intervened, Temple claimed that it could have charged the group thousands of dollars more. Temple arbitrarily offered to withdraw the extra fee, then unilaterally withdrew it. In its latest letter, Temple merely states that the matter is closed and makes no promise to ensure that controversial but protected speech is not silenced on campus. These actions chill speech at Temple because groups will not want to risk being charged thousands of dollars in fees for similar events. Read Full Article

FIRE Update

FIRE Announces Production Assistant Internship Opportunity

April 9, 2010

FIRE is pleased to announce an exciting new opportunity that will be especially interesting for those in the art and film industry. FIRE will be hiring one Production Assistant intern to support FIRE's new Sweidy Stata Video Fellow. This paid internship will present an exciting and educational opportunity to work one-on-one with the Video Fellow on a variety of projects. Please see the full job posting for more information. Read Full Article

The Torch

FIRE Welcomes Sweidy Stata Video Fellow Joe Stramowski

April 8, 2010

Back in January, FIRE announced the creation of a one-year video fellowship, funded in part by a generous $25,000 matching grant from Raymie Stata and Kimberly Sweidy. We are excited to announce that, after an intense search, Joe Stramowski has been selected for the position and started working at FIRE on April 1. Joe will be creating several high-quality documentary-style films about FIRE's cases and mission and will play a key role in FIRE's outreach and publicity efforts.

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