Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Protesting Scalia

Justice Scalia is coming to Connecticut. Of course, he won't be stopping here, at Tier III Quinnipiac university School of Law, but he will be speaking at UCONN. And it has come to the lonely libertarian's attention that students at UCONN are engaged in preparations for protests of his visit. My question: Why?

Disagree with Scalia, fine. You can even think he's an ass- read his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas and you'll see why people might think that. But why on earth protest the visit of a noted scholar, and preeminent jurist at an academic institution? Of course, this is part of a growing trend of protest against speakers with whom people disagree. But the higher you get on the academic ladder, the more incredibly stupid it seems. After all, this is a 20 year member of the Supreme Court speaking at a law school.

Personally, the lonely libertarian thinks this another example of how the protest is increasingly not just about the oppressed, but about the privileged. If Scalia was coming to Quinnipiac, you can bet here would be no organized protests. Even the very liberal members of the faculty and student body would be thrilled to have a Supreme Court Justice coming to our school.

It may seem completely off topic, but the recent protests in France over new employment laws are very much related. The point of the laws is to spur job growth, which can be difficult when it is near impossible to fire anyone, as it has been in France for some time. The laws would allow employers to essentially try new employees out over a period of several years, retaining the un-French option of firing them without cause.

Why is this relevant? Put simply, it's the sense of entitlement and privilege that pervades throughout the rich nations of the world today. For the students protesting in France, these labor laws may or may not be beneficial. For the unemployed poor, immigrant (and predominantly Muslim) population, the laws will undoubtedly reduce unemployment which has reached astronomical levels. Meanwhile, at UCONN, the organization to protest a sitting Supreme Court Justice continues.


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