maule at LAW.VILLANOVA.EDU
Wed Aug 15 19:10:29 PDT 2001
Can someone give me an example of a case (or speech) that is not offensive to someone? For every case or speech I hypothesize, I can just as easily hypothesize offended people.....
Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law
Villanova PA 19085
maule at law.villanova.edu
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>>> SLevinson at MAIL.LAW.UTEXAS.EDU 08/15/01 04:20PM >>>
Query: What if a law professor asks a student to receite "the facts of the
case" in Cohen v. California, the most important fact of which, of course,
was "Fuck the Draft." (recall the earlier posting in which I mentioned Mel
Nimmer's insistence on saying the unsayable to Chief Justice Burger and his
associates when arguing the case). Or the Carlin case, etc. Are there now
two categories of cases: a) Ones in which the facts are "non-offensive,"
so that law students can be expected to articulate them and 2) "offensive
fact" cases. But then I return to an earlier thread: Is it offensive to
assign "offensive fact" cases at all, lest a student's delicate
dispositions (including those framed by religious training) be upset by
even having to read such stuff.
These musings are produced by Vance's comment that "If, for example, in a
literature class the teacher asked a student to read a particular passage,
and it contained words the student didn't want to speak, I find it hard to
imagine that the teacher would force the student to say them, rather than,
for example, 'expletive deleted.'" Exactly why is the coerced "saying,"
assuming an otherwise defensible context (such as asking a random student
to "state the facts"), any worse than the coerced reading?
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