Conservatives have made it clear that their right to be offended (by abortion, by critical race theory, by your sex life) is far more important than your right to free speech. So we shouldn’t be surprised by the recent attack on academic freedom in North Dakota.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem doubled down on a law passed last spring preventing higher education institutions from receiving money from the state’s Challenge Grant Fund if they partner in any way with organizations that support abortion, like Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Republican lawmakers were targeting a sex education program led by a professor at North Dakota State University in partnership with a local family planning organization.
“I understand that this committee and the legislature may want to punish the NDSU for these academic matters,” NDSU Chairman Dean Bresciani said in March when testifying on the bill. InForum reported. “However, the principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression are fundamental to the functioning of the NDSU and all colleges and universities and must be upheld for accreditation purposes.”
Roe has collapsed and Texas is in chaos.
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The legislator nevertheless adopted the law. And this month, Stenehjem confirmed the ban. He was responding to a challenge from the University of North Dakota’s chancellor of the system, Mark Hagerott, who had asked the attorney general’s office to review the law and determine whether it was constitutional. In his written opinion, Stenehjem said he would not consider the law unconstitutional until the courts declared it to be.
North Dakota law holds the NDSU and its students hostage for millions of dollars in funding, leaving them, and other public universities, such as the University of North Dakota, with no choice but to stand. conform.
If you think these are small potatoes compared to what happens in states like Texas and Ohio, remember that it always starts out small, but you don’t have to look far for it. see what their real intentions are. So congratulations to North Dakota, you’ve been on our infamous list of anti-abortion (and anti-free speech) states.
This post has been adapted from a Twitter feed.