Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Government Ovaries

Rhode Island College is defending itself against a censorship lawsuit for all the wrong reasons. According to this Associated Press article, Rhode Island College is claiming that although it is a public institution, the First Amendment applies only to actions "by the government and the government alone." This is utterly ludicrous.

However, Rhode Island College does seem to be correct that it should not be sued. In this case, the Women's Studies Organization on campus put up signs on the lawn near the campus entrance that declared, "Keep Your Rosaries Off Our Ovaries." After a priest objected, the college removed the signs. It noted that this area was typically off limits for signs, although students could put them elsewhere. The right to put up signs anywhere you want is something fundamentally different from the right to protest or hand out information, which should be almost everywhere outdoors on a campus. But Rhode Island College doesn't need to make its absurd argument to get this point across.

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