MGRABER at gvpt.umd.edu
Tue Apr 7 08:06:24 PDT 2009
Here's a good constitutional law outside of courts question that I faced yesterday.
At 9:00 AM, I was asked to participate in a panel discussion later that day on the University's decision to cancel a showing of "Pirates II" in response to pending legislation cutting off all funding to the university if we showed porn films.
Two sets of issues. First, there are the obvious constitutional issues. is the film pornographic under relevant definitions, does the president have the right to cancel under Kuhlmeier, is the funding cutoff constitutional, is there an overbroad issue here, and what about academic freedom.
Second, some personal issues. I did not have the time to go home. Having never heard of the film (at first I thought we were talking J. Depp), I went on line and discovered that I could download some scenes. Should I have done so? Did I have academic reason to do so, or could I have answered all of the above questions without knowing much about the film. Should I have contacted my dean a) as a friend or b) to get permission.
I came to the conclusion that there was no need to see the actual film. Curious what others think.
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