Sessions warns of campuses sheltering 'fragile egos'

Jeff Sessions

Professors at the law school took a knee on Tuesday to protest a visit by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was scheduled to give a talk about campus free speech.

Sessions, whose remarks were followed by a question-and-answer session with constitutional law professor and Center for the Constitution Director Randy Barnett, warned that freedom of expression is in "retreat" on college campuses.

"The university is about the search for truth, not the imposition of truth by a government censor", he said. He then added, "it's not a contradiction".

Speakers such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter, who regularly take provocative stances, have been prevented from speaking on campuses by protesters or by college administrators who say they are concerned about the potential for violence.

"Protesters are now routinely shutting down speeches and debates across the country in an effort to silence voices that insufficiently conform with their views", Mr. Sessions said.

A day earlier, at Georgetown University Law Center, Sessions lamented how colleges have been "transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogenous thought, a shelter for fragile egos", CNN reported.

The letter from the law professors highlights three specific attacks on free speech: President Donald Trump's Twitter denunciations of recent athlete protests; the Department of Justice's prosecution of a woman who laughed during Sessions' confirmation hearing; and the department's attempts to obtain information about people who organized an anti-Trump protest this summer.

In a statement Tuesday, Emanuel said his administration would "fight the Trump Justice Department's unlawful attack on Chicago's values any time, any place, because we are on the right side morally and the right side legally".

Dozens of students and law school faculty protested Mr. Sessions' speech by kneeling on steps outside the building.

Blauser points to the "complete irony of the situation: in a speech about free speech on campus that's trying to decry college safe spaces, Georgetown and Attorney General Sessions are creating a safe space".

Inside the auditorium, several audience members sat with black tape covering their mouths in protest as well.

"President Trump calls African-American professional football players kneeling in quiet protest "sons of bitches" and angry, armed white supremacists 'very fine people, '" the statement said.

Trump's attorney general has consistently defended the president after Trump on Friday remarked that players who protest the national anthem should be dragged off the field and fired by team owners during a fiery campaign rally in Alabama. And, yet, school administrators bend to this behaviour.

"I do", Sessions responded. It's a fraught topic nationally, with many conservatives saying that only liberal viewpoints are welcome on many college campuses, stifling free exchange and overly sensitive students finding alternative viewpoints too offensive to hear. "It has always been my understanding that the courageous men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest". But organizers canceled the week's events.

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