27 December 2007

Glenn Grothman: wrong for sticking taxpayers with security for political speakers.

Hi folks,

The College Republicans at Madison invited a speaker on campus and were charged for on-site security.

They don't think they should pay for that security. Glenn doesn't think they should either. He thinks we should.

Security bills rile UW GOP group
by Pedro Oliveira
Tuesday, December 11, 2007


State Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, criticized UW’s security fees policy and asked the Board of Regents to “take immediate action forbidding its campuses from charging security fees for on-campus speakers.”

Grothman said he intends to introduce legislation preventing the university from charging these fees, if UW does not act on the matter.

“It is clear the UW is using ‘security fees’ to try to silence any voices which may be out of step with the hardcore left-wing orthodoxy found in so many liberal arts classrooms,” Grothman wrote in a statement. “The UW has been unable to name any similar fees charged for left-of-center speakers.”

More of the usual conceptual dissonance from Glenn.

Glenn is typically adamant about people paying their own way and, in this case, should be in favor of political groups at the Madison campus taking responsibility for the speakers they hire. I'm shocked, shocked, to discover he thinks the tax payer should pick up this tab.

Mr. Horowitz, for whom the security was required, is a former left winger who had second thoughts about his youthful commitment to social justice and has found a better paying gig attacking the notions of social justice he and his parents, famously, fought for.

Maybe it's only speakers like this who need security in Madison?

Anyway, maybe this means Glenn would be as glad to have the taxpayers pay for security for Angela Davis?

That'd be a sign of Federalist maturity.



Ben Masel said...

Simplistic and wrong. Sticking sponsors risks letting the police decide how much given speaker will cost, subject to their own political biases.

Already settled by the Suporeme Court, in FORSYTH COUNTY v. NATIONALIST MOVEMENT, 505 U.S. 123 (1992)

The ordinance is facially invalid...

(b) An examination of the county's implementation and authoritative constructions of the ordinance demonstrates the absence of the constitutionally required "narrowly drawn, reasonable and definite standards," Nemotko v. Maryland, 340 U.S. 268, 271 , to guide the county administrator's hand when he sets a permit fee. The decision how much to charge for police protection or administrative time - or even whether to charge at all - is left to the unbridled discretion of the administrator, who is not required to rely on objective standards or provide any explanation for his decision. Pp. 130-133.

(c) The ordinance is unconstitutionally content based, because it requires that the administrator, in order to assess accurately the cost [505 U.S. 123, 124] of security for parade participants, must examine the content of the message conveyed, estimate the public response to that content, and judge the number of police necessary to meet that response. Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U.S. 569 , distinguished. Pp. 133-136.

BLACKMUN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which STEVENS, O'CONNOR, KENNEDY, and SOUTER, JJ., joined. REHNQUIST, C.J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which WHITE, SCALIA, and THOMAS, JJ., joined

Mpeterson said...

Hey Ben,

I'm still learning that irony doesn't work online. I'm actually in favor of paying for their security with tax dollars and agree with the court here. I just thought it was remarkable for Glenn to think so too. ... everything else he says suggests he wants to privatize politics. I'd be willing to bet he'd be opposed to spending tax dollars on security for Anita Hill, say, or as noted, Professor Davis.

You did leave out section (a) which reads:

(a) In order to regulate competing uses of public forums, government may impose a permit requirement on those wishing to hold a march, parade, or rally, if, inter alia, the permit scheme does not delegate overly broad licensing discretion to a government official, Freedman v. Maryland, 380 U.S. 51, 56 , and is not based on the content of the message, see United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171, 177 . Pp. 129-130.

Is there a technical legal construal of "overly broad"?

Thanks for your note.

Ben Masel said...

The Court's been incrementally expanding the discretion they'll allow local officials.


I had a hand in the case, on the losing side.