Eugene Volokh: Is Hamline U. "Seeking to be an Ideological Cocoon"?


Eugene Volokh, who runs the popular legal blog Volokh Conspiracy, writes about the situation of Tom Emmer and Hamline University:

If the university did indeed refuse to hire Emmer because of his views on same-sex marriage, that would be a very serious breach of traditional and sound academic freedom norms, and a sign that the Hamline business school is seeking to be an ideological cocoon — for its faculty and its students — rather than a place where debate and academic freedom are genuinely present and valued. Of course it would send a pretty poor message to its students, who would rightly wonder whether a faculty that does this to an appointments candidate would likewise retaliate against students who express unorthodox opinions. And naturally it would have an effect far beyond the question of same-sex marriage: Students and prospective family members who see an institution being willing to exclude someone who shares the same views as about half the country would likely worry even more that it would exclude or retaliate against people who have (certain kinds of) less popular views.

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