Buttoned Up

James Madison can rest easy.   A judge handed down a decision in the NYC button case today.   Not surprisingly, the decision tracks existing case law on this.  K-12 Teachers don’t surrender their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse door, but they are diminished.   So some political activity among adults in a school is fine…wearing campaign buttons to class with students is not.  Gotham Schools has much more here and here.  NYT with background is here.

2 Replies to “Buttoned Up”

  1. James Madison is turning in his grave over what you educrats represent in terms of unchecked power. Granted, he tried to infuse into the Constitution the notion that individuals would have two governments to live under and that the federal power would offset the excesses of state and private power. In this regard he hedges toward your view.

    However, Madison tried to resolve the problem of “factions”. He did not want a particular interest gaining control of the governmental mechanism. Madison’s republican solution: enlarge the sphere and thereby divide the community into so many interests and parties as to make it unlikely that any one could become dominant.

    If he were around today Madison would probably see the nationalization of education like state religion: oppressive. He would work to push back policy to the states and localities. Seeing the futility in achieving devolution, realizing that the horse left the barn, he may have advocated scrapping the Constitution and starting over.

  2. Hmmn… the decision appears to be standard preliminary-injunction analysis on First Amendment issues: is the plaintiff obviously likely to win on the merits in a longer trial? The judge pointed out that there is conflicting case law that is nonprecedential (the California case in 1996 leaned heavily on Hazelwood, though the latter was about student newspapers and what constituted qualified public fora), and that uncertainty would probably lead any competent judge to the same substantive decision on a preliminary injunction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.