Commencement speaker protest

May 15, 2009
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The weekend is finally here – President Barack Obama will give the commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony Sunday. Since he was announced as the speaker in March, there’s been a lot of media coverage of protests against him speaking at the Catholic university.

I’d be curious what our readers at Notre Dame or law students from the other Indiana schools think about Obama as the commencement speaker. I did a little research on the Internet to find that President George W. Bush had some protestors when he spoke there in 2001 due to his stance on the death penalty. I don’t remember the issue being as hotly debated as it seems to be with Obama, but correct me if I’m wrong. Was there just as much protesting over Bush’s speech as Obama is receiving?

All the hoopla around the event led me to think about what would happen if students were given the chance to pick their commencement speaker. Would Obama still be selected or would Notre Dame students vote for someone who was more along the same ideological stance as the Catholic church? What if students at every school were able to select their speaker from a group of finalists or even write in someone they’d want to speak?

If you could have anyone speak at your graduation, who would it be/have been?
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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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