[UPDATED:] Chemerinsky Damns Muslim Students for Denying Israeli's Right to Free Speech
|Erwin Chemerinsky (left) cracks up his pal John Eastman, the former Chapman University law school dean.|
"They shouted him down," Chemerinsky told the Orange County Register's Gary Robbins. "Imagine if they had brought their own speaker and that person had been shouted down. There would be no free speech. There is no right to a 'heckler's veto.'"
After being interrupted 10 times while trying to discuss U.S.-Israel relations before an audience of 500 people in the UCI Student Center, Oren took a 20-minute break, during which political science professor Mark Petracca scolded those making the outbursts and asked them to leave. Oren then returned--and was promptly interrupted six more times.
Campus police escorted each shouter out of the auditorium and made 11 arrests for disrupting a public event. Chemerinsky told Robbins the campus cops had every right to do so.
UPDATE: But the Muslim Public Affairs Council is not so sure. The group sent a letter Wednesday to UCI Chancellor Michael Drake saying it is unclear what laws the students broke, the Associated Press reports. Schools should not discourage students from expressing their First Amendment rights, contends the council.
Chemerinsky's talk will be held at the UCI Cross-Cultural Center, across from Aldrich Hall.
Hopefully, that's a free-speech zone.