Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 6, 2016 5:30pm-7:31pm EDT

5:30 pm
middle. to go back to the question of the recession for a second, it is important to think about the story the middle class has gone through in the last 15 years. at the end of the bubble, the stock bubble in the late 1990's, the last sustained growth in median income we have seen in america for quite some time, at the end of that, you had incomes not rising for most americans the way they had been experiencing. they borrowed more money to keep up their consumption patterns. they were helped of it by a housing bubble. when that first, the recession was the stopping of the music. they could not borrow as much, their incomes started going down instead of just stagnating. what we have emerged from the --ession is a middle-class
5:31 pm
is with the middle class laid bare, with a more precarious position than we realized in the early 2000's. theye lost a lot of what had. middle-class home ownership was down after the recension -- recession. business ownership was down. middle-class incomes fell not just in the recession, but in the recovery. it only stabilized in the last couple of years since then. they maybe going up again, finally. be going up again, finally. when we think about the frustrations they are feeling now, it is not just because the recovery and recession were bad. things were pretty bad before that. a pretty terrible economic decade for most americans and we did not realize that as much because they were spending money they did not have
5:32 pm
and now they have to pay it back and stop borrowing until we see a situation where it debt frustrations are boiling over. host: we're talking about american middle class, the numbers are on the bottom of the screen. you can also participate on social media. mike is in chicago. we are listening. caller: good morning, thank you for having me. i appreciate what washington journal does for the country. it is the best news program on tv and i enjoy watching it every signal day. thank you for helping me start my morning. 'sgarding erin currier comment about class being part of a social identity, yes it is. what is middle-class?
5:33 pm
i used to define myself as a middle-class citizen. poorer than they are. when you take financial security on the long term and short-term -- that is up to you. i believe that 40 years after my parents were born and i was born, i am worse off. host: what kind of work do you do and what kind of work your parents do? caller: my parents were both in the military. they went to wall street. my wife is veterinarian and i am a consultant. we worried about the long-term job market.
5:34 pm
wages are not going to get any higher. when theflorida recession hit, i am in chicago now, i grew up in new york. i solid the recession did. i saw how employers reacted. i really worried. theke and say i am probably first middle-class person out there. [laughter] ant: if you could give us idea of the income you generate? take in just over six figures. we are holding off on having kids. my wife is a couple of years older than me. we're worried about the long-term. we thought chicago was better. what they are trying to do with manufacturing is good, but it is not helping individuals get the help they need to stay in the class they are.
5:35 pm
whoow a lot of neighbors had to leave our neighborhood in the south side and had to move to indiana. they moved to a poor area. my heart goes to everyone who is suffering and i hope things change. host: thank you. isst: i think what mike getting at is more than our definition of the middle class, even our can civilization -- conceptualization of the american dream. was we heard loud and clear that what americans defined as the american dream is their children being better off than in mike's case, being better off than his parents, and having personal agency and sleep well at night. to be able to pay all your bills
5:36 pm
with the income you are coming in and said a little aside for savings. they not believe it is about being rich or middle-class, but this idea of financial security, just being in control of your own destiny is a big part of americans believe our country is structured and should be structured. the more that that feeling disintegrates, that there is theiculty getting ahead, more they feel the american dream is unachievable. guest: what mike brought up inut the contract work was port in. it is the feeling of stability, the money i am bringing in today is going to be there tomorrow. that is something i hear a lot when i talk to folks about the economy. not just the money, but i am
5:37 pm
worried about my job being there tomorrow and not outsourced or contracted out. , a lot oftankersley people say that well, the median income in america has risen dramatically since the 1970's and 1980's and the stock market has nearly quadrupled, things are good. guest: the median income is about the same today after you adjust for inflation as it was in 1989. that is a fairly striking statistic. it is just reality. there are a few researchers out we shouldclaim that use different inflation does leaders and thinking about this differently and actually people have gotten ahead more. it almost no one speaks the idea 2000 the income has flatlined or gone down. the stock market has gone up a lot and the economy has grown a lot. 1989, 26, 27 years since
5:38 pm
the of seeing all must in the size of the economy. wasn't money there to be had, we just have not seen the spoils flow to the average american worker. anne, you have to turn the volume down on your tv. if you get through on the line, turn down the volume of your tv, you will hear everything through your phone. john is in fairfax county, virginia. retired, i make , with my,000 a year wife's social security added. to raise taxes more, i would be glad.
5:39 pm
everybody wants more, but nobody wants to pay for it. the baltimore newspaperman, hl mencken, keynote it when he said that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the american people. between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. this morning, you ran donald trump telling the west virginia folks you have had no raise in 18 years, you'r. this is the same guy who went on record saying he was asked point blank would you raise the $7.50 wage that has been stagnant for a decade, he said no. the american people are suckers and if they vote him in i am going to laugh my butt off. column by john
5:40 pm
thierry who used to work for tom delay and bob michaels. he writes about donald trump, " he writes a clear message on the economy that resonates. the middle class is getting screwed because the political class is looking out for their interests rather than the broader interests of the american people, from being open to increasing taxes on the wealthy to express and concerns about trade deals, and promising to protect social security. clearlyrump is stating he will change the direction of the american economy." we did not invite you to talk about politics, but i would like to get your comments on the tenor of the campaign and some of the issues that are being discussed economically. happy to talk about politics, because if you are writing about the middle class, you're writing about politics
5:41 pm
whether you like it or not and you are certainly writing about donald trump trade i like john, he's a smart guy and the nail something about trumps message -- trump's message. their public and needed a message for the middle class -- the republicans needed a message for the middle class. michael rubio had a next her childtax care -- an extra tax credit. deals have gotten the best of you, well, republicans have pro.a trade free market he said immigrants have been hurting you, while at the same time republicans have been trying to reach out to more hispanic voters. they are having a big intraparty fight about immigration.
5:42 pm
he has an anonymous tax cut for the wealthy, more than any other part of the hemisphere. messagemp tod the ump hasdle class -- tr nailed the message to the middle class. i think that is some of the big fight we see in the party between speaker ryan and trump. wrestle.real can markets really help people or do you need a more populist approach? i tell you who is feeling left out, the business community. they are the ones you want to trade deals, immigration reform, entitlement reform. they feel if they are being left on the sidelines of an election
5:43 pm
where it is populist anger and middle class focus that has dominated. host: let's go to harry in pennsylvania. do you consider yourself to be middle-class? caller: i was in middle class all my life, except when i was young. i am 80 years old and i have seen a lot of changes in my lifetime. douestion for your panel is, they see a correlation between the rise of the middle class people in the rest of the world and a decline in ours? and is that have anything to do with free trade? i have knocked around the world a little bit and i've seen some very poor countries after the second world war, they are no longer poor. is that a good question for you to handle? we did quite a bit of
5:44 pm
research looking at whether there is a difference in economic mobility between the united states and other countries. on the whole, what the research shows is that there is. when you think about the chances of someone in the united states being born at the bottom of the is to region and rising, it is less likely in the united states that even canada. that has to do with a lot of factors with our social safety net, education. the other piece is that the income distribution is so much takes aat it dollarsant increase in for people to move among the
5:45 pm
ladder. researchers joe, if you want the american dream, you need to move to denmark. host: is the middle class larger than ours? guest: i don't know the answer to that. we looked at what could be differentiating canada from the united states. is that maybe they defined the canadian dream differently. maybe they believe the government has a different obligation to the population. public polling did not find that. canadians to find the canadian dream very similarly to americans. americans very much believe there is a role for government to play in helping everyone move up the economic ladder, especially people who are
5:46 pm
working hard and playing by the rules and doing all of the right things. host: does western europe use the term middle-class? is as: i don't know if it is critical. i want to expand on the wonderful question. it is true that the decline of coincided class has with a massive rise from poverty for millions of people around the world and the opening of global markets and advancing technologies have absolutely helped with the liberalization of the economies of places like china. we have far fewer poor people. i think that is amazing and something that everyone should celebrate. it is not true that there is necessary trade-off. there is no reasons to look at the distribution of global income and say it has to come
5:47 pm
from the american middle class to go to those people. the super counterfactual is if america had taken some of that money from the very rich and given it to the global poor, that would have been just as efficient a transfer. there is lots of good economic research on this. suffice it to say that free trade has a role to play in this and it has a huge point in this election. the rules of free trade, the way free-trade has been conducted, i think has apsley can to be good to where the money has come from and where the money has gone. absolutely been where the money has come from and where the money has gone. the state of american
5:48 pm
family finances, many families are unprepared to deal with financial emergencies. over the course of the year, most families feel financial ascks, such repairs, a pay cut, or illness or injury. unfortunately, these events are often costly. the typical household spent $2000 or about half a month income on its most expense of financial -- expensive financial shock. shock occurs and income does not suffice, the least it spend the solution is for families to turn to their liquid savings. perfect storm the i was referencing earlier. what we're trying to do with our research is think beyond income. income is a very important
5:49 pm
metric for understanding where families fall in the overall distribution. it is not sufficient if we really want to understand whether they are financially secure. been looking at lots of different metrics, including incidents of financial shock, which in research we have done, shows that 60% of experience an unexpected financial shock in the previous months. $2000.ical shock costs most families just do not have that kind of liquid savings on hand. expensing of financial shock as well as fluctuations in their incomes and expenses, it leaves them in a precarious place. it becomes a cycle of not having enough and being constantly stressed. host: the april job figures are
5:50 pm
the bureau of labor statistics, unemployment rate, 5%, jobs added, 160,000. jim tankersley, give us a quick assessment. lower thans expected, but a decent, good number. it is less than the sustained rate you would want to start wage pressureed coming up. the unemployment rate being at 5% is a very good thing. it probably has farther to fall to bring people into the labor force. force, the the labor faster income will rise. growth has done very well, we can't be expecting to add month.0 jobs a
5:51 pm
surprise, but it would set off to me a small amount of alarm. juice toeconomy need get to the comfortable wage rise we were just starting to get into. host: robert, we are talking about the state of the middle class in america. justr: i am a pipe fitter, an average guy. i am watching the construction field just be decimated by the amount of cheap labor coming across the southern border. you can't even get on the job site if you can't speak spanish. you can look at the classifieds and see that all over the place. they are bringing in more cheap labor. they are doing everything they can to hurt the middle class.
5:52 pm
with those two items alone -- the politicians are forcing the they are taxing them to death. here in the state of maryland, they are taxing me of flesh tax. tax.ush there are so many different tentacles. the politicians and all the regulations are what is killing us out here. paul ryan, he is pushing the visas to bring more cheap labor in here. inflation,e is no that is ridiculous. host: do you consider yourself to be middle class? under: this year i made $30,000. there were better times.
5:53 pm
the way they push the labor down, bringing all these illegals into the country, we hour job downn to $15 an hour. host: that is robert in waldorf, maryland. the complaintral, most immigration resonate in the construction industry in the following way. we have had an absolute job loss in construction compared to pre-recession levels and that has nothing to do with immigration, that is the burst of the housing bubble. g an absolutein job loss for native born americans and construction.
5:54 pm
instruction. construction. job sites, they would love to hire native born americans, but they won't work for the wages offered. there are more people for a fewer number of jobs, wages are going to fall. all of that said, the frustrations robert is
5:55 pm
expressing, you hear around the country and is absolutely correlated with the rise of donald trump. working-class american men who feel frustrated about weight is going down and taxes going up and government relations intruding upon their ability to make a living, that is the sweet spot, fastball for donald trump. robert has articulated very well the frustrations. host: ray, tell us about yourself. caller: good morning, everybody. i was bornar-old, and raised in california, san francisco. quickly, i followed the childhood dream into the aerospace business and worked in the industry until it's pretty much died -- it pretty much died
5:56 pm
because of aforementioned regular relations and what have you. to my point, what can i best say to my fellow americans to describe the situation i think we are in? i go back to when i was working in aerospace. i would go to job assignments and i ended up in cumberland, maryland. i can't tell you what i did, it requires secret class. but i have a security guard i became acquainted with who would walk us to our cars at night. we got into a conversation about america and where it was going. she said something that was profound, i will never forget it and i will share with you now. she said, mr. davis, we live in america. right now they have ese classes, the rich, the middle
5:57 pm
class, and the poor. she said, the way things are going, you are going to look up one day and there is still going to be the rich, but there is only going to be the poor amnd the "po." "po," are hand to mouth, waiting for something in the mail to help them to the next month. the poor are going to be the folks who were in the middle class, but now it is a rat race. one fork in the road and you are in the ditch. the rich, she said the rich have money and can hold on. that is how i feel it has transpired for me. i was doing quite well in aerospace, but we all know how that ended here in california. i bought my first house in 23
5:58 pm
years old and that is the only thing that is saving me. , thee in inglewood football team is coming and i will sell my real estate when it spikes and i have to leave the state. in inglewood,ray california. guest: it reminds me of survey work and we asked people is it more important to be financially secure or move up the income ladder? said they weres more interested in financial security and stability. i think that really underscores all the conversation we have today, the idea that families do not feel like they have the stability. a lot of americans are just trying to tread water. his comment about retirement security resonates considering that research shows that one in
5:59 pm
five americans do not think they will be able to retire. they don't have plans for it, they don't think they can afford it. this is from a washington post article you wrote in 2014. the stock market is soaring, the unemployment rate is finally retreating after the great recession and the economy added all that growth has done nothing to boost pay for the typical american worker. average wages have not risen over the past year. real household median income was still lower than when the recession ended. make no mistake, the american middle class is in trouble. could you write that today? guest: yes, but the figures would be more optimistic. that story was about aerospace declineornia, and the of a rocket plant and a town
6:00 pm
waiting for something else to come along and replace it, very callerke what our just described. i think today, the situation looks better for the middle class. it does not look great, and it is nowhere near where we thought it would have been after a typical recession. we do not have a typical recession. we have seen sustained job creation over the last year and a quarter since the story ran. we have seen a little bit of a take-up and consumer confidence, and people's optimism. president obama's approval ratings on the economy are going up. we're still not in a good place. if you look at the long view, it is rough. i talked to vice president biden about this a few months ago and they asked about how well the
6:01 pm
middle class did. asked to be judged on how well the middle class did. by that, they failed. the typical american family still makes less today than they did when the recession started. that is mind-boggling. host: margaret, in dover new , new hampshire. caller: i think the gentleman stole my thunder when he talked about the rich, the poor, and "the po." thes going to talk about habs, the have-nots, and the -- and the, the have-nots, hads.
6:02 pm
a swedishughter of immigrant. degree, iniversity have been a social worker, a personnel director, a union organizer. i have spent my life, my early life, as a republican. but i am a big fan of bernie sanders. l as secureu fee financially as you have through your life? caller: this is the worst. a home after taking care of an elderly mother for a decade. it needs paint, the chimney cleaned, all kinds of work. i need a car. it goes on from there. i consider myself lucky, because i can have three good meals a
6:03 pm
day and a roof over my head. host: thank you. erin currier? guest: a lot of our research has been focused on what drives upward movement. if they come from a low income background, they are able to move to the middle or beyond the middle. the things that are the most impact full for that movement are things like the secondary post-secondary education, neighborhood, and having a second earner. americans can recall their parents being able to survive with one earner and a stay-at-home parent and they were still considered middle class and could take vacations. shows more and more the need for a second earner to move a family up the income
6:04 pm
ranks. all these pressures, the need for more than one source of income points to the challenges so many american families are facing as they try to get by. , have you currier done better than your parents? guest: that is good question. i am focused on whether i am financially secured like everyone is focusing on whether they are financially secure. -- whether i am financially secure. host: jim tankersley? guest: my parents worked really hard to make sure both their boys could go to college. i feel incredibly blessed by that. my father is probably laughing at me because i wrote a couple of articles about how their generation destroyed america. but my parents have been wonderful. my dad is a lawyer and my mom is
6:05 pm
a librarian. small-town oregon, solidly class.dle they have a son who is a reporter and a son who is a tenured professor. that makes the rare among the kids i went to high school with. many of their parents had better paying manual labor jobs in town that allow them to have a solid middle-class living. several of those kids are not able to do is good paying -- as good paying work even though they are a skilled as their parents were. what happened in america that the talents of those classmates of mine are not utilized in the same way as the talents of their
6:06 pm
parents were? it is not just in my making as much money as my folks, it is do i have the same sense of the film from the work i do being they had.t - host: " obama unlikely to meet jobs."l on manufacturing how many manufacturing jobs have left the united states and in what time period? outsidehat is totally the scope of our research. one thing i want to take a stab that, especially based on what idea of upwarde mobility across generations. what the data makes clear is the vast majority of americans have higher income than their parents, 80% do.
6:07 pm
that when you look at if that is enough to move into a different wrong of the economic ladder -- ladder, it economic is glass half-empty. have -- when we think about whether people today are better off than their parents, it is really important to think about both of those things at the same time. have highert people levels of income in the absolute sense, but whether they have had made progress climbing the economic ladder. host: elaine is in eagle river, alaska. we are listening. are you middle class? caller: i would say so, we are. host: what is middle class in eagle river, alaska like?
6:08 pm
caller: an earlier caller mentioned about two dollars for a loaf of bread, here it is six dollars a loaf of bread. the amount of income you need is higher. what i would like to bring to the table is some optimism. my husband and i have been married almost 23 years. we started when we first got anyone --i don't know if he has adave ramsey? baby step program for what he calls financial peace. what we did. we did not make much money when we first got married. i was in school for physical my husband was
6:09 pm
making $1600 a month as a second return it in the military -- lieutenant in the military. we lived according to financial peace university. it works. the government is not going to solve our personal problems, it is really taking personal responsibility and maybe not having that five dollar latte and saving. it does pay off. i just want to bring some optimism to the table. middle class is very achievable, we just have to be intentional with our money and our lives. host: erin currier, the bulk of entitlement program spending goes toward the middle class. it was an article in "the washington post." guest: i did research on this as
6:10 pm
well. --ch part of the budget is code,e of the tax particularly around things like large interest reduction and incentives for putting money in retirement accounts and other very smart mobility enhancing investments, what we're left with is that the vast maturity of low income americans do not reap the benefit of that investments. middle and upper americans get the majority of the tax benefits. one of the things we would love e, particularly suggested, was thinking not about whether the government needs to spend more money to enhance economic mobility, but maybe just think about the ways
6:11 pm
in which that money is targeted so that lower income families, sustain least likely to economic mobility over a generation, are receiving more of the mobility investment. host: north carolina, go ahead, we are listening. caller: for the benefits of young folks, millennials, could your panel contrast obama's first seven years compared with reagan's first seven years? the same people complaining, they are the ones to voted for obama twice in a row. the lady from new hampshire, i don't feel sorry for you. off, plus abutt job for uber.
6:12 pm
i'm not ashamed of that. i was told don't have a kid unless you can provide. d, do you consider yourself middle-class? caller: yes, because i worked my butt off. i'm not waiting for my welfare check. host: have you done better than your parents? caller: yes, because my dad is retired military. i can say that. host: do you think you have the same opportunities as your parents? are all given the same opportunity, that is what the united states is all about. seconds to put0 a final period on this. i have been struck by the heardof people we have from today, the frustration and
6:13 pm
optimism. host: jim tankersley with >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, severns pro maggie join us. then "new york times" senior economic correspondent neil irwin will discuss the latest jobs numbers. and coral davenport will discuss her story on an unusual $48 million federal grant awarded to relocate an entire community in louisiana struggling with the impact of climate change, the first of its kind. we'll look at the high school advanced placement u.s. government exam with teachers andrew and daniel, both from
6:14 pm
adlai stevenson high school in lincolnshire, illinois. they'll answer questions from high school students on the content and structure of the exam. be sure to watch c-span "washington journal" beginning at 7:00 a.m. live eastern saturday morning. join the discussion. >> in both iraq and afghanistan, i helped both countries with their constitutions being sort of a acilitator of agreement on key issues among iraqs or afghans, the influence is considerable, the state of government very anxious meeting with you when you ask for a meeting. >> sunday night on q & a, former ambassador to afghanistan, iraq, and the united nations, discussing his memoir, "the envoy" from cab yul to the white house, my journey through a turbulent world. >> we saw that extremists exploited although we corrected
6:15 pm
it towards the end of the period that i was there by the surge, by reaching out to the sunnis, by building up iraq forces and by establishing a unity government, killing him at the end to bring about security. violence was way down, but unfortunately when we left and the vacuum was filled by a rival regional powers pulling iraq apart, violence escalated and we have a cyst now. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q & a. marines >> this was during an interview this morning with politico's mike allen. here is a portion. >> i think paul is just being honest with how he feels. i think he will get there, by the way, he wants to get there.
6:16 pm
he just want some time to work through it. >> politico is reporting that that meeting is expected to go ahead. do you expect speaker ryan to be there? >> yes, i do. i talked to him multiple times yesterday. he wanted to go forward. i am being honest. he says he is not there yet but wants to get there. so yes, he will meet. >> after speaker ryan made his, that he was not ready to jack at that pointer around the lead, how quickly did donald trump call you? >> i had talked to him already once that day. i spoke to donald trump and paul ryan multiple times yesterday afternoon. >> donald trump called you ithin minutes. >> uhh. you are pretty good. [laughter] i can't lie, i wouldn't anyway.
6:17 pm
>> what was his mood? >> it wasn't furious or anything. it was, what do i need to do? i said, listen, my view is, just relax and be gracious and i will talk to paul and we will try to work on this. >> rnc chair reince priebus's remarks will air tonight starting at 8:00 eastern here on espn. paul ryan from earlier today has invited donald trump for a meeting with republican leaders next week and he looks forward to that discussion. a discussion now on if students shed their constitutional rights at school and if political speech and hate speech should be regulated on campuses. from the university of miami law school, this is about an hour 15 minutes.
6:18 pm
caroline: hello, we have got a we have l for you, susan kruth who has a background in short film and documentaries and she decided to go to law school to study the way that constitution protects filmmakers. she did a free speech fellowship with the thomas jefferson center for the protection of free expression. she has also had some really cool civil rights internships including one with the transgendered legal defense and education fund as well as the aclu lbgt and aids project and currently she is with the foundation for individual rights in education. rofessor kerry brian melear is professor of higher education at the university of mississippi. his areas of expertise are college and university law, finance and public policy. he is a member of all kinds of
6:19 pm
things. he is on the authors committee of west education law reporter, the book review editor for the journal of law and education, the contributing editor of the higher education lawyer blog and a member of the editorial board of the journal of cases in education. and he has worked as a higher education policy analyst for the florida legs la tour and as a research associate for the florida post-secondary education planning commission d we also have leonard niehoff who is a professor at the university of michigan school of law and a council to a law firm with lots of names. he is the author of numerous publications in the field of first amendment law and higher education law and for more than 30 years, he has litigated cases on behalf of media entities and colleges and universities and he got his b.a. and j.d. from the university of michigan and he studied at the ecumenical
6:20 pm
theological seminary. so each panelist will speak for about 12 minutes. i'll ask a couple of questions and then it will be up to you all to follow up with more questions. k. leonard: good ann and thank you for inviting me to participate in this important symposium and including me in some distinguished company. when i accepted the invitation, i didn't know that i would be the follow-up speaker to a charming brilliant living legend and had i known, i certainly would have declined. [laughter] leonard: i view in part my job to lawyer my expectations, i think you'll all agree i'll do it. i want to use as a launching pad for my remarks, the 1989 federal decision in doe versus university of michigan. doe is the seminal case on
6:21 pm
campus speech codes and it has just recently passed its 25th anniversary. i thought this symposium might be a good occasion to look back, see where we were, assess where we are and ask whether we have made any progress in the way in which we think about and discuss these issues. spoiler alert, the news is not good. as you will recall a federal court found unconstitutional a policy that the university of michigan had adopted in response to a number of racially charged incidents on campus. as legal precedent, i don't think that doe actually offers many extraordinary insights. the policy was pretty clearly overbroad and vague and it was dead on arrival at the federal courthouse. we don't need to perform any elaborate autopsies today to confirm the fact or the cause of death. so why should we care about doe? i think there are several
6:22 pm
reasons. first, doe is an early excrurgs into territories intentions that have now become familiar to us. the case was, therefore, decided before these controversies had grown encrusted with some of the framing and language and concepts that burden them today. second, although university olicy in doe was badly flawed, it seems clear that the school acted in good faith, at least i believe it's clear. the issues the university faced were real. they were significant and they demanded some kind of response. similarly it seems clear to me that the plaintiff in that case acted in good faith. if i had been teaching at the university of michigan when the challenged policy had been in place, i would have had concerns, too. these days when those on each side of the debate are so eager to caricature those on the other as clueless or even
6:23 pm
villainous, it seems refreshing to consider a case where i think both sides had a point. third, the passing of 25 years provides an occasion for calling the question, are we thinking about these issues now better than we were thinking about them then. it does seem fair to expect some forward movement over a quarter century span. so have we seen any, i have three theses, the first is that since doe was decided, we have indeed seen significant change in how we think about and discuss the conflicting values of speech and equality on campus. the second is that the change is overwhelmingly for the worse. the third is that things are unlikely to get better any time soon. it is a grim and discouraging assessment that i bring you today nor is it likely to win me any friends or perhaps any additional invitations to symposia because as you will
6:24 pm
see, i believe that the blame for this situation lies with both sides of the debate. i think everyone has had a turn at the switch in creating this train wreck. i think everybody has tossed some fuel on this dumpster fire. before we get too far into our current disarray, though, i would like to remind you of what happened in doe. so the university of michigan community was rocked in the late 1980's when a number of racist incidents occurred on campus culminating in a rash in early 1987. there are a number of examples. i'll give you just one. it involved the distribution of an anonymous flier that used a series of racial epithets garding blacks and declared, open season, on them. the university's president issued a formal statement condemning the different. the state legislation la tour campus. ings about the
6:25 pm
in response, the university set about drafting an anti-harassment policy. the final version reached very broadly. it applied to classrooms, like, laboratories, recreation and study centers. in these areas, persons were subject to discipline on a number of grounds including for ngaging in speech that "stigmatized," or "victimized" someone based on a characteristic like race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. sanctions depended on the gravity of the offense and they were potentially severe. the university also issued a guide and in some ways the most interesting thing about doe is about the guide rather than the policy and the guide proported to be an a thousand tative interpretation of that underlying policy. the guide offered troubling examples of speech that it deemed discriminal anytry or
6:26 pm
harassing. some examples included speech that was pretty clearly protected under the first amendment. others included some that did not fall under the language of the underlying policy. at the time the policy was adopted, john doe, our anonymous plaintiff was a psychology student at the university. he taught classes that had controversial theories that some think might be sexist, he was represented by a law professor from wayne state university. the judge who presided over the case concluded the policy was unconstitutionally overbroad. he also ruled that a number of critical terms in the document like stigmatize and victimize rendered the policy unconstitutionally vague. in the course of the litigation, the university withdrew some provisions of that policy and it actually withdrew the guide in its entirety, but it would be fair
6:27 pm
to say that these maneuvers did not impress judge kohn. indeed judge kohn had a number of grievances with the university and how the case was litigated and so forth and he cataloged them twice, one at the end of the doe and later in a law review article that he later wrote about the case. one gripe may in retrospect strike us as ironic, toward the end of doe, the judge suggested that in thinking about its policy, michigan might have learned a great deal by looking at the experiences of another great uffer, yale. i am not sure that today anyone on either side of the debate thinks that the perfect solutions to these problems reside in new haven. here is the point. although judge kohn found the policy unconstitutional and had a variety of grievances with the institution, his opinion reflects genuine respect for the university's concerns, for the complexity of the problem before it, indeed the first
6:28 pm
sentence in doe, this case that strikes down one of those policies reads, "it is an unfortunate fact of our constitutional system that the ideals of freedom and equality are often in conflict. the difficult and sometimes painful past of our political and legal institutions is to mediate the propose balance between these two competing values." in the same spirit, the opinion concludes by recognizing the university's "obligation to ensure equal education opportunity to all of its students." and by expressing sympathy with that goal. even the lawyer who represented doe voiced similar views in a law review article that he published about the case. so look for a minute where doe left us 25 years ago. it acknowledged the value of both free expression and equality. it recognized that collisions between these two values were inevitable. it understood that mediating he conflicts between these
6:29 pm
values was hidously complicated. it grasped that people of good faith would make mistakes in ying to work through those tensions. doe was in many respects the perfect starting point for a civil, informed, respectful productive dialogue all toward the end of a dramatically improved campus environment. well, so much for that. tensions. are we now? doe was raised about concerns with a environment and some would suggest that nationally it has gotten worse. the number of incidents rose dramatically from 2009 to 2014. studies estimate that only about 13% of such incidents are even reported to campus authorities. i suspect that number is very the problem has grown worse as
6:30 pm
affirmative-action has become less available and as campus diversity has suffered as a result. in any event there is certainly an increased awareness. social media has facilitated constant and widespread communication about these experiences. consider the relatively well-known #dbum and movement were black students use twitter to describe the challenges they face on challenges to come on campus. this increased consciousness has to do the shifting understanding of how harassment, discriminate opposition, and marginalization happen. we have a better sense now of how even inadvertent micro aggressions can disrupt a student's learning experience. in 1987 we knew that the ku klux klan uniform hung from a dormitory window of michigan was a racist act.
6:31 pm
just as in 2015 we knew that the noose strung around the statue of james meredith at mississippi was a racist act. today we had a much more refined view, and it turns out to be even deeper and more daunting than we understood. nore are the dynamics exclusive to racial issues. the most recent data regarding the number of sexual assaults are shocking. in 1989 the concept of campus date rape was still relatively new. we have awe have a much broader understanding of the extent of victimization. we have engaged in a debate that has a deal pedagogically with the statistical reality that almost certainly more than one of our students will still be suffering under the trauma of such an experience. our universities has to resort to do. we have serious conversations to
6:32 pm
t done. serious conversations are hard to come by. the group to raise these issues are belittled as wimps, weaklings, whiners. cause for greater action are met with accusations of political correctness, a phrase that had that had not emerged since 1989 being as it is, people substitute for an argument. we have come a long way from the doe,nce and stability of n and it is nowhere good. all too often no conversation can be conducted if this is shut down in the name of free speech. the concern is raised about speech that offends someone, interfering with their ability to learn. we're told we cannot even air the concern because freedom of speech stands in the way. the first amendment, the grand
6:33 pm
midwife of ideas, is now routinely used to abort them. as you may have gathered, irony is a central theme. of course those on the other side of the issue of not serve the conversation well either. social media allows for the airing of grievances of all types. those who tweet before they think, make themselves and the easy objects of parody and become incoherent co-conspirators. the impulse to silence people. when you think someone has a right to photograph your protest -- no right to photograph your protest -- you're confused. we think it gives you the right to physically block them from doing so your deeply confused. when you think it gives you the right to call for muscle to intervene, you are dangerously
6:34 pm
confused. for every action there is an equal overreaction. humans tend to think these problems call for bigger solutions. it is counterintuitive to think you could address a complicated problem in another way. that other way is precisely how first amendment jurisprudence want us to think about it. maybe you can see why i'm skeptical things will get better. both sides of the debate have settled in the framing, language, and concepts and appear to have become perversely comfortable. a highly efficient mechanism exists for making troublingly comfortable people uncomfortable. it is called freedom of speech. but as i say, whichever site you are on, the other side does not get to use it. thank you.
6:35 pm
[applause] mr. melear: good afternoon. i am delighted to be here and appreciate the generous invitation to join you. i would like to thank you for the opportunity to be present. also knowing you have to follow , justice stevens is quite something to think about. happy to be here. in my time today i thought what i would do is provide a brief revisitation of some of the key u.s. supreme court cases that are the drivers of the analytics for how we observe issues
6:36 pm
related to students free speech questions. , touch on those, develop core terms, and talk about a specific case that illustrates the power of litigation when students decide to move forward. let's begin with the magna carta. as we know, the black armband that was considered to be symbolic speech in the outcome the standards that we all know so well. someone earlier in one of the -- which wentioned do not hear, colliding with the rights of others. that is an interesting question to be explored at another time. we know that that is the standard that is developed and tinkered. if we fast-forward to 1952,
6:37 pm
healy v. james. this is a case involving a public institution in which a student group sought to establish students for a democratic society which somewhat controversial that had been suggested to incite violence on college campuses. the administration grew concerned and denied it on that basis. the supreme court concluded that just because an idea is unpalatable doesn't mean they cannot be retreated. that does not enter into the end of the first amendment. that is our second speech ruling. i want to read you some of the language from justice powell. ecedent -- there is no room for the view that because of the knowledge needs of work first amendment protection shall apply with less force on college campuses and in the community at
6:38 pm
large. quite to the contrary visual projection of constitutional freedoms is in no way more violent than in the community of american schools, college classrooms and the surrounding surrounding environs is the marketplace of ideas. we move forward to 1981, is a case involving another group of students the room and a religious question, an organization requesting the use of facilities like it college campus. out of fear of running afoul of the establishment clause, the request is denied. the form had been created. the form is there. student organizations exist. if some are avail of facilities, not bel should equally
6:39 pm
discriminated against on the basis of the content. wen we go to 1995, and discussed this case briefly with justice stevens. another case involving a religious request, a student group asking for money to produce a publication called awake" publications. discriminated against narrowly on the basis of their viewpoint. between content and viewpoint is a question, and they are certainly related. in my bag of tricks when i am working with students, i have learned to use context of football, because it works very well. this room in this
6:40 pm
forum we can talk about football. we can talk about anything there is to be discussed, but we cannot talk about football. i and then limiting a content discussion, right? however, if i say, we can the endsootball until of the earth, but we cannot discuss the university of miami football, that is a view point restriction. usually i hear some "ahs." i might mention one more case that is further narrowing the viewpoint assertion in a case case of students that project to involving students who pay a mandatory fee. we have content, viewpoint, for him a. these are the elements of the analysis and litigation when these cases reached the court when students make a decision to
6:41 pm
litigate. -- how am i on time question mark i have a thumbs-up. another case, a 2012 case in the fourth circuit. i think it is interesting in this circumstance in a group of students who were antiabortion, sought to display what is called a gap display, which was in essence graphic photographs of the abortion process. this was in a way to bring light to the controversy. on this particular campus, a public institution. they sought to place this in the academic campus in an area. they were concerned about the size of the billboards, whereas they are manufactured in two ways, a larger size and a
6:42 pm
smaller one. they were about four feet by four feet, i think. in any case, from a facilities perspective, they were moved to a common area that included a student center and a number of residence halls which received pretty high foot traffic. that movement was not bad. there was concerned they are about blockage and conclusion of foot traffic and other issues so they were moved to a third location where there was considerably less foot traffic. thendisplayed and departed, and then later requested to have another display that they wanted to go back to the commons area with dormitory and the student center. denied again, and they did t pursue this. one important thing to note is they also requested security, but that did not emerge or go anywhere. so the fourth circuit, in
6:43 pm
-- let this case, made me restart that. the students file suit initially, and one of their amendment a first speech code violation, because there was concern administrative mightthat the display emotionally harass a student, and the institution had a speech code in place that dealt with emotional harassment, prohibiting speech that would emotionally harass. that sounds a little bit wrought. when the student group filed suit, in order to address their claims, the university changed that policy and rewrote it so that emotional harassment was not there in the broad language. that is one element that is interesting that policy can be identified, and then and acted
6:44 pm
upon when an institution realizes the language is on the broad side. there you see a group of students moving forward setting and shaping policy using their voices to do so. ultimately, the administrators involved in this case were granted qualified immunity, but the fourth circuit concluded those student were discriminated against on the basis of the conduct -- the content of their speech. this illustrates the many different ways that students can college campus, and if you think about it, they are myriad. classroom, curriculum, athletics, theater, newspapers, and the list goes on and on down through student organizations and presentations. this is an incredibly important topic, and one for which higher education must be mindful because it is not going away.
6:45 pm
the proliferation of litigation concerning free-speech rights related to students and others on the college campus continues to grow. there are so many gray areas. i will say the word social media, mentioned those come because that is our brand-new gray area. we are not sure where we are going with any of that. susan will discuss some social media issues because they are fascinating and important, and it is something that those of us who are part of the college and university community should be watching very closely. so with that i will bid you do, and i will return to my seat and enjoy the rest of our session together. thank you. ms. kruth: thank you for having
6:46 pm
me tonight. all right, good. the foundation for individual rights in education was founded over 16 years ago, and since then we have seen significant victories for free speech on campus, but also seen some unbelievable new threats to free speech. the first amendment protects an incredibly broad range of speech . the vast majority of speech you were here on campuses is protected by the first amendment. no matter how clear the law is, free-speech and practice requires constant vigilance and defense and proactive measures. i think with respect to free speech on campus, there will always be a good news, bad news first. i will talk about some of the good news and bad news. for most of the existence of the
6:47 pm
group, we have systematically analyzed speech codes on hundreds of college campuses across the country. speech codes are any written policies that prohibit speech that would be protected from government punishment if it occurred off campus. public schools are bound by the first amendment, and private schools at private colleges, we expect them to follow-through on any promises they make to students that they will have freedom of speech. keeping track of codes is one way to we can quantify the danger to freedom of expression on these college campuses and identify trends over time. in recent years, we have seen any administrators revive speech codes so that free speech is better protected on these campuses. we have seen the number of extremely restrictive policies go down in the number of campuses with no churches and --
6:48 pm
no restrictive policies go up. we really like making progress this way because it can be faster and it is free and let us enjoy the administrators understand why the changes that we are making are so important. not allately, administrators want to work with free-speech advocates. a lot of them will even refused to back down after we publicly call them out on obvious free-speech violations. a few years ago, fire launched the standard for speech litigation project, and so far through this project we have coordinated 11 lawsuits against schools that committed first amendment violations. some of the facts of these cases are pretty will drink. thatve several cases
6:49 pm
revolved around students being told they could not simply hand out literature quietly and areas ofy on the open public college campuses, and these are things like advocating for animal rights or petitioning against nsa spying or handing out copies of the constitution. they were told they could not do these things because they were not in the so-called free-speech zone where they have not gotten permission from administrators in advance. this is one example, the thesto junior campus, and red circle is where a student was standing and the orange circle is the tiny area on campus where he is allowed to hand out literature in. as one example. this is a common scenario of how bad it gets on college campuses. students and professors should not have to sue to enjoy their first amendment rights, but the good news is that out of the eight cases through this project
6:50 pm
that have been resolved so far, they have all been resolved in favor of free speech. this of them were actually settled before they got to court. so it seems like some administrators at least are slowly learning it is a lot less it takes a lot less time to simply abide by the first amendment and -- instead of digging in their heels and duking it out in court. even though administrators at some schools are slowly getting a handle on first amendment law, there are some very serious dangers to free expression, and i will talk about two of them today. they have to do with the office for civil rights. is part of the project part of education and the agency responsible for enforcing title ix, which prohibits sex discrimination. for colleges, it is all about
6:51 pm
four colleges nationwide. i also want to say that if a school finally title ix, they can have their funding taken away, even though this has not happened yet, the threat of it happening is enough for keeping schools under the thumb of the ocr. this is the first threat i will talk about, what my colleagues all the blueprint. in 2013, university of montana entered into a resolution agreement with the department of education and justice, and they concluded those departments investigations into the university for allegedly mishandling allegations of sexual assault. and even though the investigation focused on assault, the findings letter that came along with that agreement also did hated how the --versity of honest say in university of montana was to
6:52 pm
define sexual harassment. the letter also said it should serve as a blueprint for colleges and universities across the country dealing with these issues. according to the letter, sexual harassment should be defined as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, and conduct includes verbal conduct or speech. so any what unwelcome conduct or speech of a sexual nature. now when you look at this definition, i want you to think about whether you have told an offhand, racy joke, or talked about 50 shades of gray at lunch, or maybe even just discussed the fact of the supreme court case lawrence v. texas which dealt with sodomy laws. if someone on campus, anyone can overhears you and may be offended or just that not want to hear you talk about those things, that makes your speech sexual harassment. we know how different everyone's
6:53 pm
opinions are, it is not unlikely that someone will be offended by what you are saying. i know it sounds extreme to call you a sexual harass her in that context, but look at this definition -- any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. there's no limiting factor at all. that is what it poses such a serious threat to free speech and what it is unconstitutional. we can compare that definition onthe definition of student student harassment we get from the supreme court in the 1999 monroe county board of education. the supreme court defines sexual harassment as conduct that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars a victim's access to an educational opportunity or benefit. if we think about these
6:54 pm
examples, none of them come close to being so objectively bad that they will keep a student from receiving his or her education. and so they are all constitutionally protected, but i think that illustrates the huge difference between the supreme court definition of theal harassment and definition that ocr is trying to promulgate. some of you might be thinking, surely a school would not enforce a definition that broad, but they are. it is happening across the country since the blueprint was published in 2013. schools have been adopting this broad definition of sexual harassment word for word, and they are enforcing it against students and professors to punish speech that is against the first amendment. a lot of the times it is speech that plays an important -- a valuable part of discussion.
6:55 pm
a tenured education professor got fired for occasional profanity in class, and now it -- now she is suing lsu to defend her right. what happened with that can she is teacher -- what happened with that is she is teaching future teachers and wants to prepare students to deal with all kinds of parents they might encounter, which includes parent may say objectionable things. she used the word "was he" couple times, and the school fired her. they said that using this language creates a hostile environment that amounts to sexual harassment. harassmentition of follows the blueprint. this is what happens when you have an incredibly broad speech code like this.
6:56 pm
this prompted an addition for the office of civil rights. student across the country are being asking there colleges to an anonymous social media like certain apps. at the university of mary washington, students complained that the school had not adequately funded to racist and sexist messages on this act, and this prompted an investigation by the office for civil rights. couldestion coming up, ban thisthis act -- app? a lot of schools have already tried to ban this application, and it is giving schools another onson to ban other forms through social media. i wouldn't point out people were concerned about threats being posted on this act.
6:57 pm
-- apps. threats and harassment are already prohibited by law, and we have seen a case where a threat was posted and the representative work with the fbi in the school to find the poster and have them arrested. there are already procedures in place for that. hurtful speech even speech that speech, islled hate almost always protected by the first amendment if it does not rise to the level of a true threats. the law is clear about this, and the supreme court has reiterated time and again that even offensive provocative speech is often a critically important part of public discourse. banningd be clear that pp at a public university does not serve a public purpose. president, the umw
6:58 pm
seems to understand this, and he denied the diversity's wrongdoing, but said -- let me read it. university, public to comply withd all federal laws, not just title ix. the first amendment prohibits restraints on speech, and is tantamountpp to banning first amendment speech. after he said this, students add that to the complaint. a set these comments from the university president constitute retaliation. now ocr is not just investigating the school, but also the president. i think something is usually wrong when you land in trouble for just stating what a public university's publications are under the first amendment. i will wrap up by saying that during rest of the panel here this- or the panels
6:59 pm
weekend, and during the questions and answers, you will say calls for censorship are coming from all anchors, students, professors, administrators, and state legislators. that is all true. here we have a branch of the federal government coercing schools into punishing protected expression all across the country in one fell swoop. it is a significant danger to free speech. but to end on a slightly less depressing note, i will say this -- fire has seen the amazing results that can be achieved when students and professors like all of you guys decide to fight back. i sincerely hope you will consider doing so and help us fight back against these series threats to free expression on campus. thank you. ms. corbin: i will throw out a
7:00 pm
couple questions to the panelists, and you can either answer them or answer and neither of them. i want to focus my questions more specifically on hate speech codes. between liberty and equality, i think i heard suggestion that one side is that the risk of these speech codes , andey will chill speech we are going to risk losing valuable viewpoints in the marketplace of ideas. and on the other hand, there is an argument that the lack of these kind of speech codes might deny target of hateful speech and equal opportunity to learn and participate in campus discourse. these are both sort of postulated arms, and i wonder if anyone has any actual empirical evidence supporting the claims
7:01 pm
of these potential risks. that is my first question. and then the second question is more doctrinal, sorry, but that in speechease doctrine, sometimes audiences -- ctually trumps speakers' right to speech. i have two things in particular in mind. the tacit audience doctrine which is the idea that in certain locations, such as the home, you have the right not to be bothered by a sense of speech. that is the first of that doctrine. and the second is in the speechce, the harassing -- and it can be just speech -- harassing speech that creates a hostile work environment can be
7:02 pm
made legal even though the speech would be perfectly legal outside the workplace concept, and it is mainly legal because otherwise women -- or whoever the target is -- would not have an equal opportunity to participate in the workplace. thinking about these doctrines, within free-speech jurisprudence, i want to have you think about how they might apply on campus, because if you think about students on campus, their dorms are their homes, and part of the campus is there workplace. so i would wonder how do you think these particular doctrines might play out in this discussion of speech codes. i would like to first address the difference between workplace and the university, because it is true there are different standards for sexual harassment in the
7:03 pm
workplace, as opposed to the university. but there is very important reasons why that is so. , depending once what company is, they have a is a paperal, and it company, it is making paper, for example. usually singler, and anything that gets in the way of that, it makes sense to prohibited. at a university, the goal is discussion, debate, and harry new ideas and thinking about new ideas. err on the sense to side of more speech in that situation where speech itself is part of what people go there to do. people do not usually go to work to talk to hear new ideas. they go to produce something, some sort of specific output. to me i think it makes practical sense that the standard for sexual harassment would be more speech restrictive in the
7:04 pm
employment context. let's see -- as far as in the home, i think that in our homes we can keep people out. it is a private space for it but fire deals mostly either debttions where someone finds their speech limited in their home or dorm room or situations where students are censored and -- in outdoor areas of campus. they beat the other panel can deal with that. melear: i would revisit question number one, the empirical data, and i am not aware of that, but that is the point that we should pursue, a more empirical study in that regard. that is my position there. are you aware of any empirical -- kruth: to be honest, a lot
7:05 pm
of the campuses we deal with, it is so clear that either someone's access to the education either so very clearly denied were so very clearly not denied that i cannot think of an example on that front. niehoff: a couple thoughts. hate speech is not a category of prohibited speech recognized by the supreme court of the united states. when we talk about eight speech, i would suggest we do not know what we are talking about. we would have to define what we meant i hate speech, so there are things like harassment could be a form of hate speech, -- those are recognized categories of unprotected speech, at least in some cases by the supreme court of the united states. it is interesting, the question about the evidence.
7:06 pm
i do not think when we think about threats we need to see empirical evidence of threats making your life worse because desperate for we could prohibit them, or hostile work --ironment is evident for before somebody can do their job . we need to see empirical evidence that supports that. i am more suspicious of empirical evidence and claims in that context. they come and go with convenience. i think one of the things that intrigues me is i am not convinced that many of the solutions here lie in the legal world. more in the normative and normal world where we have agreements about how we will conduct ourselves and what is critical is we're able to continue to have those kinds of out peopleons with becoming unduly alarm. one last thing on your captive audience point, which is really interesting. i do not think that was spoken to.
7:07 pm
i've seen interesting permutations on that, in michigan, we have a case involving a professor who anduitously used profanity would go off into stories about his own sexual exploits. in the class to which it was completely unrelated. the students had to listen to the spirit there was no pedagogical justification for this spirit it was what he felt like doing. the school took action with respect to that, and i think there you have a captive audience. we have the flip of that in a case in the state of michigan where a student turned in an assignment in which he fantasized about the instructor. and the student knew that the instructor would have to read the paper, and so you arguably have the captive audience going in the other direction in a context like that. this is very context driven, and education gives us a rich and complicated context for thinking about these issues.
7:08 pm
corbin: we will open it up to questions now. thank you to all panelists for being here. we appreciate hearing from you. relatedion is sort of to those who try to suppress free speech and the progress you're making in that area. you mentioned the second area. there are two forces that are going against free speech on college campuses. you have the administration who is worried about their brand and do not want people to be saying things that are bad about the university project you points -- alsooints -- and there is the other students who disagree with what ever viewpoint is being expressed. this is what do a looted to with the situation where a journalist for not allowed to film the protesters. my question is how do we continue to go forward and fight
7:09 pm
the institution that tries to prohibit free speech when our fellow students are also sort of being part of that. is that a trend that is more recent, and do you think it will continue, and what do we do about it? my perspective, the ideal framework for administrative decisions and policy development is that we are seeking to strike that balance to protect students' pre-speech, where provide the efficiency of operation that is required to make it decision run. framework, butal also the form of when the litigation comes from. policies are written in an overbroad fashion, it is not always that it comes from the perspective that is malicious to a policy that is intended do a good thing, but written in such a way that it is vague, making it unconstitutional.
7:10 pm
the third factor that falls into the question of all of the angles that are moving in free do notzones, which we know about anymore, but we will talk about. that is one perspective i would add in there, the idea that finding the balance is key, but it is not always easy. these cases will demonstrate it is not always easy. ruth: another storage, especially when we see calls for censorship administrators and students is to try to remind everyone of the reason why we have such broad free-speech rights and explain to people that if you are trying to censer other people right now, think about what i -- about what policies you will lay down will be used against you eventually. that is a fact of life. you can see fire's case are
7:11 pm
times -- case archive from the censorship goes in every direction. the matter your viewpoint, i can find a case with someone with that viewpoint on the catholic and that that has been censored. i am reminded of the flip situation or how they would do with that in dealing with students. niehoff: i am troubled by the question. so i will succumb to that. educators are good at teaching. students are good at learning. both educators and students are bad serving as regulatory agencies. where i see the space for hope is in the educational process. there's nothing that there is something inconsistent about trying to regulate speech in interest of another interest.
7:12 pm
there is nothing inconsistent educating people come up with about the value of free expression and about all the ways in which we discriminate othert, harass, offend people and unsettled their learning. essential is that we are able to talk about those things and have productive conversations about them, and the isolation and the balkanization that i described earlier an easy labels and the easy ways of dismissing dialogue i think are deeply pernicious and destructive. >> question forces in. i'm not a big fan of the ocr documents about sexual harassment, but it is the reason i am troubled by your presentation, is that they are both recycling expressing what sexual harassment law is. complaining about
7:13 pm
the fact that there is multi-elements for what constitutes harassment, but importantly is the requirement because i do not think it is true as a matter of law that a person said something unwanted and sexual in nature, but it is sexual harassment. sexual harassment is a legal term. in order for it to be central harassment that is both actionable and meets the concept, it has to be superduper is a decision. for universities, that means to change it to raise. in blackudent shows up face, that is not racial harassment. happensly happen if it over and over and university ignores it. that difference is important in wecational -- because recognize the employment context, and many of us who are worried that our students are being mistreated, that racial and sexual harassment are not being handled well, are enormous fans of free speech in the
7:14 pm
educational environment. i teach a class on sex crimes. the first they i talked about driving while black. i have students talk honestly great for us, we do not see that because of the simplistic view -- fire more generally has offered this is sexual harassment ignores that the focus of law is the severe and pervasive requirement. it is when cumulative this emerges. i wanted to hear your response because i think among a lot of us educators getting to the other point here, there has never been this portrayed conflict between free-speech and sexual harassment because sexual harassment law and racial harassment law is hard for -- plaintiffshey because they cannot show that institution's deliberately turn a blind eye.
7:15 pm
i just feel like the signification is being repeated on both sides of this debate. kruth: that is a good question. a part of the problem is the ocr overtime has had different definitions of sexual harassment , so there are documents that have a definition of sexual harassment that is not the davis standard, but much closer to the there aredard, and much fewer first amendment problems with that definition. for example, in different kinds documents, they do use the severe and pervasive language. occurs when problem schools are confused about what standards they are supposed to use. they are going to be overly cautious because they do not want to be investigated by ocr and not have their funding taken away. even if they get a hint that ocr
7:16 pm
will investigate them, that they do not have a broader definition, they will adopt that definition. i said, we have seen colleges across the country use an enforced that very broad definition of sexual harassment that i had up there in my powerpoint transition. they are not all reading davis thinking ocr just told montana to have this definition, but the supreme court said in 1999 they do not all think about things that we a see the letter to montana and think they will get in trouble if they do not adopt those words, so they do that. and regardless of whether the policies are the policies that schools need to adopt do legally in order to comply with title ix, if the school has those policies in place and they are enforcing them, that means that students are getting punished for constitutionally taken expression. ocr isal is really until
7:17 pm
100% clear on what the law is, and what schools have to do, schools will be doing things that are unconstitutional. >> thank you. do you see a link between the ncrease in the schools' efforts to limit speech to the opposite trend out in the general population in terms of hurtful speech being far more common and vociferous nowadays? niehoff: so let the quibble
7:18 pm
with the premise of the question. i do not think -- maybe there are institutions where people rub their hands together and tackle -- capital evenly and say how do we restrict speech today. but that is not the enterprise. the enterprise is there are problems voting around the world, on to our campus, disrupt the learning experience of students, students are concerned -- how we respond to that in a responsible, sensitive, and constitutionally appropriate way ? that is a serious challenge. i do not think the increases is an increase in the desire to restrict speech. is ank the increase increased desire to respond to increasingly challenging campus environments. and i think the events of the world creep onto campus. you can watch what happened after ferguson and way in which ferguson change conversations on campus.
7:19 pm
to sensitivities about ideas that had not existed in quite the same way two days before ferguson events happened. -- you are link right there is a link between what is happening off campus and what we then see on campus. i would resist the suggestion the link drives a desire to to restrict speech. i think it drives a desire to figure out how to respond appropriately to an extraordinarily complicated world. melear: i would like to agree with that. you stole my thunder. as i mentioned earlier, the real goal for administrators is not to planned to try to restrict speech, but to try to balance speech in a way that it protects allowsnt's right and physicians to operate efficiently as possible.
7:20 pm
so it is a difficult balance. >> one of the questions from the moderator was how the workplace ontored which which it out that college campus, and you framed responses in the context being a place to promote the sharing of ideas. the reality is most college students are on campus to get the job training they need and get skills to enter the american workforce. with that change your analysis to that question? ms. kruth: i feel if your goal is to learn certain skills, there are private schools you can go to, because they can enact codes as long as they are up front, and there are universities where you can go
7:21 pm
and they will help you fulfill your goal of not hearing ideas and just learning skills. that guess i would say idea of a university is at odds with what the supreme court has said again and again about the purpose of the university, but also at odds with the fact that the vast majority of colleges, even private colleges, set themselves -- advertise itself as places where everyone will hear new ideas and debate all sorts of different topics. agree on the can purpose of universities, but schools need to at the very least advertise themselves as what ever they are. and like i said, the vast majority of colleges advertise themselves as places where people would hear new ideas. question is for susan. i'm a little confused about why
7:22 pm
we want to protect that sort of speech where you are able to post anonymously and say really anything about -- maybe i personally had a bad experience with that in college. i was not in a sorority, but i knew people who were in sororities were being talked and itadly on that app, affected the way we saw each other on campus. what you think that needs to be protected. is a good that question, and it is not that we particularly liked the speech .hat is happening when my colleagues and i assess these cases, we tried to not make a value judgment on the speech. but the problem is that if we start censoring and tire forms for expression or even if we try to differentiate between hurting one person or hurting another
7:23 pm
are going towe lose a whole wide range of speech and a lot of that could be really helpful speech. historically, a lot of things have been published anonymously that ended up being incredibly important for the founding of the country and setting up our government and all sorts of would haveistory been so different if people do not have the ability to speak anonymously. so i think anonymous speech can be used to make extra mean, but also be used to make bold stances where they are necessary, and there is no way to really separate those in a forum like this. if there are true threats or harassment, that rises to the level of davis or of ocr's standard, there are things that can be done in accordance with the first amendment law. but when it comes to hurtful
7:24 pm
speech or ideas that you disagree with, free-speech advocate tend to say the solution to that speech is more speech. so we encourage people to speak why you disagree or do not like that speech or why people are wrong. and it does not always get exactly the results that you itt, but the alternative is risks shutting down too much speech that could -- that might really how society. corbin: one more question. >> thank you for coming. my question is on the topic of the idea of colleges be a place, where the marketplace of ideas is important. but my question is whether -- four panelists -- whether all
7:25 pm
views necessarily should be protected, particularly if hate speech is the kind of speech where the first amendment protections do not begin with. i would like to hear about that. : well, i think it is very dangerous to start going down that road. because, maybe there are some viewpoints that these days most of the entire room or most of the room could agree, it is not a valuable viewpoints. but historically, people felt the same way about black people not being slaves. there is always going to be different viewpoints -- historically there have been so many viewpoints that seemed evidently unacceptable the time it, but now are the norm. and i think it is impossible to know how views will change over
7:26 pm
time, that it is also impossible there up a system where is someone making that distinction who will always be right. i personally would not trust any person on the earth to be the arbiter of what is an acceptable viewpoint and what is not an acceptable viewpoint. where are they going to come down on marijuana legalization or gay-rights? you cannot know, part of the recent weather first amendment was written was because we know not to trust people in power to make that distinction. mr. melear: here's a personal example of my perspective. driving to the airport through mississippi to memphis to get day, i do the other not know if you do this, but i often tune into this radio station, the philosophy of which i differ greatly. and i do that because it infuriates me. [laughter] elear: i was driving along,
7:27 pm
about to careen off the road, listening to this journal, and reminding myself i do that because i have to reiterate in my own mind that i do not agree with this and i do not appreciate it. but i do appreciate this person's right to have that opinion. so that is how i would respond to that. kruth: that reminded me of a couple points i would want to make a which is hearing ideas that you do not agree with could serve a couple purposes. understand the other point of view better, so it makes you more able to argue against them and persuade them. another other thing is honestly, racist are going to test. forever. and that is just a fact of life. so would you rather know who they are or would you rather -- i mean -- [applause]
7:28 pm
niehoff: it might be best to end of there. but not have any judgment. let me try to give you this framing. i completely agree with susan that in general the remedy for the speech week dislike is more speech. i think that is a great principle. i think it is usually the best principle to resist the idea that is the only principle or a sufficient principle. if someone is threatening you, physically threatening you, we do not say threaten back and let see how it works. are circumstances where obviously it reached the end of this principle that is the default position. i think what is how is to realize when it comes to speech, the idea restricting it is where we go last. sometimes that is where we go, and all other things fail us, but i think the important thing is that conversations about when those occasions arise and understand the legal parameters.
7:29 pm
corbin: thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> here are some programs to watch for. this saturday and sunday, book tv. our coverage features coverage on hip-hop and literature, with reflections on hip-hop them in gender, as well as panels on diversity and writing programs and black writers in a digital age. the intellectual
7:30 pm
maturation of jefferson from his earliest influences to his political ideology. 9:00,day night at he discusses former a.i.g. revive the company after the 2008 financial crisis and helped the company to become profitable. >> he was the only person who thought this was possible essentially. the government didn't think this was going to happen. the company didn't think it was going to happen. and certainly the american people had no expectation this was going to happen. that idea that he was a little crazy. you had to be a little crazy to take this on and he was the right kind of crazy.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on