UNH Law School Weak on the First Amendment

We've previously noted that the University Near Here has a "Green Light" speech code rating, That's good!

Unfortunately, some of UNH's subsets haven't mastered the entirety of the First Amendment. The most embarrassing recent example is reported by the College Fix: University of New Hampshire accused of ‘open hostility’ toward religious freedom club.

University of New Hampshire administrators need to step in and correct the “open hostility” toward Christian and conservative students by January 3, a demand letter from a legal nonprofit stated.

First Liberty Institute sent the demand letter to law school Dean Shane Cooper after UNH’s Student Bar Association refused to recognize the Free Exercise Coalition, a student organization devoted to protecting religious freedom on campuses, despite the club’s adherence to all the school’s criteria for official club membership.

The law school is housed over in Concord. It was originally founded in 1973 as the "Franklin Pierce Law Center". It "affiliated" with UNH in 2010. I was in the UNH IT department at the time; the law folks were very demanding about how their e-mail system was to be "affiliated" with ours. And whiny when they didn't get things exactly as they wanted. Many Heads were Shaken at our end during the bumpy transition. But they became, eventually, the "University of New Hampshire School of Law".

As Wikipedia notes, they recently managed to wedge the name of someone who nearly everyone agrees was one of our country's worst presidents back into their official title: they are now the "University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law".

It's kind of embarrassing when the law school gets singled out as flouting the First Amendment.

Briefly noted:

  • One last 2022 dumpster fire involves a new GOP CongressCritter who managed to lower the bar for election-year dishonesty. Prompting (for example) Scott Shackford to wonder: Why Did George Santos Lie About His Past To Get Elected to Congress?

    Scott, the answer might be the same as why pets lick their nether regions. ("Because they can.") But let's hear your theory:

    The scandal is not that Santos lied. The scandal is that Santos lied about so many things that we can't even be certain of who Santos is. And that does call into question whether Santos' campaign platform accurately represents him.

    But isn't that somewhat true of all politicians? Ultimately, we get to know our representatives by how they act once they're actually in Congress—what they vote for or against, what bills they introduce, and even whether they show up to do their job.

    On the campaign trail, politicians promise whatever they think will be necessary to swing the election in their favor. They could completely lie about who they are to impress voters. They could make promises to pass laws or create policies they have no intention of keeping or don't have the authority to keep. They can change their minds entirely once they get into office. Remember when Barack Obama campaigned for president promising to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    But …

  • Jim Geraghty takes up a related question: What Should Happen to George Santos? I don't care much, but this observation is spot on:

    One of the reasons that pathological liars are attracted to politics is because there are partisans who are very eager to forgive and shrug at “normal politician BS-ing.” Aspiring officeholders see other politicians and think, “If they can get away with those lies, I can get away with my own!”

    Also see Chapter Ten of Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, titled "Why the Worst Get on Top".

  • And you won't want to miss Kevin D. Williamson's take on Lying Liars and the Party That Loves Them.

    George Santos is a liar. George Santos is a ridiculous liar. George Santos is a habitual liar. George Santos is a liar who lies about things that it doesn’t make sense to lie about, apparently just to keep in practice. George Santos lies about lying, and then he lies about having lied about lying. George Santos is such a pathetic and risible liar that QAnon kook Marjorie Taylor Greene—a hobbyist liar who turned pro a few years back—rolls her eyes about what a lying liar that lying liar is.

    Question: Is that a problem for a Republican elected official here at the last dying gasps of Anno Domini 2022?

    I don’t see how. Rep. Greene wants you to believe that shadowy Jews are using lasers to manipulate the weather. Almost every Republican who matters or who should matter—Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley—stood there looking stupid for six years (and counting) while Donald Trump told lie after lie after lie, nodding their empty little heads like a ghastly collection of particularly demented bobblehead dolls. The main themes of right-wing talk radio and cable news right now are—still—vaccine-conspiracy kookery and stolen-election kookery. Even if the contemporary Republican Party could take five minutes away from whatever the grift of the week is and work up a good head of moral-outrage steam about George Santos—the wildly successful grandson of Jewish refugees from the Holocaust who proved himself at Baruch College and NYU before rising through the ranks at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup before accumulating an impressive portfolio of investments who isn’t wildly successful or Jewish or the grandson of Holocaust refugees and who didn’t go to Baruch or NYU or work at Goldman or Citigroup and who apparently is something of a slacker but swears up and down that he positively absolutely is not a criminal so sir!—who would take them seriously? Who could take them seriously?

    Well, I should probably stop there, while noting that I still like Nikki Haley. (I envision KDW snorting and rolling his eyes at this.)

  • We were on the warm side of the recent storm, so the body count was minimized here. Others were not so lucky; the WSJ editorialists take a look at The Cold Reality of Buffalo.

    Western New York State was hit with more snow on Tuesday, adding to the winter assault that has already killed 28 in Buffalo in the last week’s storm and deep freeze. The deaths underscore that even in this age of global warming anxiety, cold weather kills more people each year than does excessive heat.

    As readers of these pages know, that’s a point our contributor Bjorn Lomborg has been making for years. He wrote in November that between 2000 and 2019 in the U.S. and Canada, an average of 20,000 people died from heat each year compared to more than 170,000 from cold.

    “Despite the climate narrative, almost everywhere cold is much more deadly than heat,” Mr. Lomborg tweeted on Monday. “Cheap and reliable energy to keep us warm used to be the hallmark of prosperous countries; no more because of our climate obsession.”

    I put the matter a little more bluntly in reporting on a recent read:

    Mother Nature can be (indeed) beautiful. But Mom is also a psycho killer bitch. Back in pre-industrial millennia when we "lived in harmony with nature", she was busy condemning us to short lifespans, filth, famine, disaster, poverty, infant mortality, and disease. Not to mention plenty of deadly violence, fighting over a zero-sum pie. We've changed that game to our benefit with many tools, but the primary one was our harnessing of the concentrated energy of fossil fuels.

    We seem to be unlearning that life-saving lesson.