A request

Robert A Bernstein bernsra at MAIL.AUBURN.EDU
Sun Apr 22 21:04:13 PDT 2001

Sorry to burden the list w this strange request for assistance, but it
seems the most likely place to find someone who might know the answer to
pressing problem affecting the faculty at Auburn.

As some of u may know, a struggle has developed between the faculty,
students, and alumni of Auburn Univ on one side and its Board of Trustees
on the other.  The dominant member of that board is a banker.  I have
suggested to others that it might be wise to write to funds holding the
bank's stock, warning them that a consequence of the struggle may be the
withdrawal of significant funds fr the bank or even a bank boycott--hence,
it would be prudent for the fund to sell the bank shares to avoid possible
financial loss. I've now been warned by several folks that (a) any public
call for the boycott of the bank, or (b) even sending a warning letter to
funds holding shares of the bank & suggesting they be sold to avoid risk
might violate state law.  Apparently there are in AL, and in some other
states, depression-era laws barring statements that might cause the
collapse of a bank.  Does anyone out there know if this is the case in
Alabama?  If so, would such a law be constitutional?  Has the
consitutionality of similar laws been tested?  If it is a law & is
constitutional, could it possibly preclude us from warning funds that the
shares they hold in this bank are risky (as people may move money out
regardless of whether there is a boycott)?

I know these lists are not usually used for this kind of request, but
there are a number of profs here who wd like to take action, but fear they
may end up with substantial legal bills if they do.  Just the rumor that
actions such as this may have legal consequences is enough to still most

Bob Bernstein
Robert A. Bernstein, Professor                 phone:  334-844-6169
Political Science Department                   fax:    334-844-5348
Auburn University, AL 36849-5208               bernsra at mail.auburn.edu

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