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Yasser Arafat won a Nobel Peace Prize

Everyone's favorite terrorist-conspiring lawyer (alleged, of course) is back in the news:

Since its founding in 1983, the law school of the City University of New York has taken pride in its zeal to produce lawyers with a social conscience and a left-wing sense of the public interest.

Now these students have taken their training a step too far for the school's administration: they are seeking to honor the only American lawyer ever charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization.

The lawyer, Lynne F. Stewart, 63, was a natural choice to many students at the campus in Queens. Since her arrest last April on charges that she helped an Egyptian sheik to direct terrorist operations from his Minnesota prison cell, Ms. Stewart has become a cause célèbre among many left-leaning lawyers and advocates. The students say the charges against her are groundless and part of an assault on civil liberties.

Members of the graduating class presented their dean last week with a petition signed by more than half of them nominating Ms. Stewart as public interest lawyer of the year.

Students are complaining about censorship -- though the article is unclear as to whether the award has actually been revoked or whether its presentation was merely removed from the graduation ceremony -- while the school is portraying its decision as the politically safe course of action, given the school's dependence on government funding. What neither side addresses, at least in the article, is exactly what Lynne Stewart has done to earn the title "Public Interest Lawyer of the Year." As far as I can tell, all she did in the last year was (a) get arrested for assisting terrorists, and (b) circulating among the nation's law schools, complaining about it.

But if the article is any guide, it seems as if the students were acting inappropriately, abusing their opportunity to award the honor:

Some students are so angry about the dean's decision that they plan to wear tape over their mouths at graduation to signify that their statement of protest has been silenced, said Barry Klopfer, a third-year student.
The honor, presumably, is supposed to be something earned by the recipient, not something given as a "statement of protest." (Against what? And if they're protesting against her arrest, shouldn't they first wait to see whether the arrest was justified?)

(By the way, note the way it's taken for granted that "public interest" and "left-wing" are synonymous. As if there are no libertarian or conservative public interest causes?)


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Comments (1)

Dave S:

Don't worry David, I'm sure you'll win next year :)


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