Did Brooklyn College violate the First Amendment?

The anti-Israel hate fest of the university’s political science dept may have turned their exclusionary decisions into illegal “state action.”

By
February 13, 2013 10:17
3 minute read.
A couple makes their way across the Brooklyn Bridge through snow and wind in New York, February 8

Brooklyn Bridge in blizzard 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The co-sponsorship by the Brooklyn College political science department of an anti-Israel hate fest, from which pro-Israel students were excluded, may have violated the First Amendment.  Had the event been sponsored only by student and outside private groups, their decision to exclude pro-Israel students and to prevent the distribution of anti-BDS leaflets would have been a private matter, that at worst may have violated the rules of the college.  But the official co-sponsorship of the event by an academic department may have turned their exclusionary decisions into illegal “state action.”


For purposes of the First Amendment, the political science department is Brooklyn College, which is the City University of New York, which is the State of New York.  It was the State of New York, therefore, that expelled pro-Israel students who wanted to distribute constitutionally protected leaflets and wanted to pose constitutionally protected political questions.  Such state action violates the First Amendment and New York law.


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