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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

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  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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