Chief Justice Roberts Not Welcomed At Butler: Faculty Senate Say "No"

I only learned recently that one of my students at Butler University is the niece of United States Chief Justice John Roberts. Officers of the Class of 2010 worked with President Bobby Fong’s office and Chief Justice Robert’s niece on a proposal to invite Roberts to address students at this year’s commencement.

All was proceeding well until the idea was presented to the Faculty Senate where it was defeated in a secret ballot, claiming “Roberts is a conservative and not worthy of an honorary degree,” as reported on WTHR-TV. I could make a pretty good guess as to whose were the most vocal dissenting voices. Readers of Dakota Voice probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they are the professors that are self-appointed guardians of diversity and tolerance and an “open and free exchange of ideas.” We have seen countless examples of what tolerance and diversity means to liberals. Let’s just say they demand tolerance of everything they believe and diversity of everything but political ideology.

[quote=WTHR article]Butler Faculty Senate President Jeanne VanTyle says the school has made only two exceptions to its no-politicians rule in three decades: once for then-Gov. Evan Bayh and last year for Gov. Mitch Daniels.

I think its quite a commentary on our times that US Supreme Court justices are seen as politicians.

Having witnessed the ND debacle, I would suggest that the commencement speaker ought to represent views or work that the university believes are exemplary for its graduates. If Chief Justice Roberts’ traditional interpretation of the Constitution is something that the university faculty finds morally objectionable, then I think it is appropriate for them not to invite them to the university as a commencement speaker. However, it is also the right of alumni to withhold their donations to the the university if they believe the university faculty now represent values that they don’t share. (I am among the thousands of ND alumni who no longer contribute to ND). It is also the right of parents not to send their children to Butler University if they feel the faculty now represent values that they do not share.

Conversely, if the Faculty Senate at Butler refused to have Justice Roberts visit to give a non-commencement talk, this would be clear evidence of bigotery and intolerance. But from what I got from the story, this is not the case.

I doubt you will agree, but I believe President Obama’s scripted decision to criticize the judges ruling, with them present, at the State of the Union, was a major step in this progression. He, in effect, was treating the court, like an opposing political group, rather than like a non-political body. While Justice Roberts, likely should not have responded to this intential politicization of the judicial process, his response was not at a national event, but a non-scripted response to a student question during an appearance at a university.

If the faculty actually believes that interpreting the Constitution as it was written is morally objectionable then they should be treated with the disdain and derision such an incoherent position deserves. That rationale should not be accorded any respect whatever. That is not an appropriate position; it is gibberish.


I agree completely, but unfortunately, progressive legal interpretation often suggest that because circumstances have changed, the law must be “interpreted” in light of new circumstances. In practice, this is what gives judges the attitude to claim the law says what they want it to say. Keep in mind, the right to “life” is an explicit one, the right to “privacy” in merely implied. Yet in 1973 a small group of judges chose a twisted version of the latter over a straightforward interpretation of the former. :shrug:

Whenever our nation has justices that are overturning hundred year old precedents to assure that corporations are defined as human beings so they can contribute to the wallets of politicians, it’s hard not to view them as politicians.

Tolerance and diversity at many universities translates to ABC–Anyone But Conservatives.

Good. That corporatist pseudo-jurist should be persona non-grata at any respectable institution.

The apparent mind set of liberals seems to be to ban whatever they don’t like. I guess that’s understandable: if you’re not comfortable dealing with ideas, just ban them.


Easily said. For instance?

Essentially universities censor by hiring only liberals. In the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Brown University, the ratio is 94.7% liberal vs. 5.3% conservative. If the effect of that isn’t censorship of ideas, then obviously facts don’t matter. :shrug:

Clearly diversity is only in outward characteristics, not beliefs.

One of my professors was Nino Scalia.

Which universe are you dealing with? Maybe professors with Ivy League credentials tend to be liberal!? Not too many black swimmers are in the Olympics, either but I did not see Jesse marching.

It reminds me when the Republican administrations refused to hire the top law school graduates from the top schools because they found them too liberal.

If the students’ political slant was accurate, what conclusion can one draw from that fact?

I am impressed you had an actual conservative professor. But your single experience with a single professor does not outweigh the statistical evidence. While Brown was high at 95% liberal. Most studies find the whole professoriate to be 80-90% liberal and only 5-15% conservative.

Even the NYTimes has the ratio at 7 to 1 in favor of liberals.

So I have cited three studies in three different sources, one with a sample size of 1,000, you give one example in your personal experience? :shrug: Thus I would suggest I am the one dealing with the real universe, to answer your sarcastic question.

No, you are still not making a correct comparison.

What is the political leaning of the universe of Ivy League-level professors? I bet it is at least 70% progressive. So, big surprise at what the professors who get hired are!

Plus, you have to factor in foreign authorities, too.

I quote from St. Thomas Aquinas: “Error has no rights.”

I guess it’s a good thing for us that St. Thomas didn’t write the Constitution. The major point of your comment, however, is the acknowledgment of a willingness to impose ones position on others by force. I will admit that this is a useful tactic for those who’s opinions could not be implemented any other way.


So your argument for the lack of conservative professors is the lack of qualified candidates? I suppose I can’t assume you make the same charitable but weak assumption when it comes to minorities in business, etc.?

PS. I am still waiting for your first piece of factual evidence to counter the three studies I cited above.

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