As reported yesterday, three professors at the University of Texas, Austin have filed suit against the state Attorney General, the President of the University of Texas at Austin, and the members of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas at Austin. Their goal: to invalidate the state’s new campus carry law.
The three plaintiffs are described in the suit:
4. Plaintiff Jennifer Lynn Glass is a resident of Austin, Texas, in Travis County, and is the Barbara Bush Professor of Liberal Arts, the University of Texas at Austin.
5. Plaintiff Lisa Moore is a resident of Austin, Texas, in Travis County, and will be the Archibald T. Hill Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies, the University of Texas at Austin.
6. Plaintiff Mia Carter is a resident of Austin, Texas, in Travis County, and is a University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin, and a University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teacher.
The lawsuit consists of 18 pages of emotional diatribes, half truths, unsupported assumptions, contradictions and reversals of the plain meanings of words. Here are a few short excerpts to give you a flavor for the document.
33. Compelling professors at a public university to allow, without any limitation or restriction, students to carry concealed guns in their classrooms chills their First Amendment rights to academic freedom.
We must have missed the right to academic freedom in the test of the First Amendment. Exactly how free speech is chilled when the Texas law requires the pistols to be concealed is not explained. Illegally concealed pistols likely are and have been in classrooms already.
48. The Texas statutes and university policies that prohibit Plaintiffs from exercising their individual option to forbid handguns in their classrooms violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, as applied in Texas through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. These policies and procedures deprive Plaintiffs of their Second Amendment right to defend themselves and others in their classrooms from handgun violence by compelling them as public employees to passively acquiesce in the presence of loaded weaponry in their place of public employment without the individual possession and use of such weaponry in public being well-regulated. This infringement lacks any important justification and is imposed without any substantial link between the objectives of the policies and the means chosen to achieve them.
A right to violate others’ Second Amendment rights in public places. That is a novel interpretation of the Second Amendment by any measure. Positively Orwellian.
And then there’s this:
50. The Texas statutes and university policies that prohibit Plaintiffs from exercising their individual option to forbid handguns in their classrooms violates their rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. There is no rational basis for the division in the state’s policies between where concealed carry of handguns is permitted and where it may be prohibited.
The paragraph could be read as to logically require Texas law to allow concealed carry permit holders to carry everywhere. But that’s probably not what the plaintiffs are arguing.
Public employees at a public institution do not have a right to dictate the terms of their employment. Under this weird theory, professors could exclude anyone from the classroom that they choose to discriminate against. They could forbid students from wearing religious symbols; they could require students to enter only after an invitation by the professor each time they came to the classroom. Public university property is not private property. The argument here is bizarre.
These are only tiny portions of what is in the lawsuit. Of course, lawsuits can be filed for just about any reason by just about anyone who’s willing to pay to file them. This one seems designed to show the failure of a public university to properly vet its teaching staff.
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