Dershowitz: Harvard group would be banned by its own petition

President Donald J. Trump participates in the pre-recorded National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, on the Blue Room Balcony of the White House. (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

Trump Derangement Syndrome appears to have survived Trump’s departure from the White House.

And it’s threatening to impose McCarthyism 2.0 on America, warns Harvard Law School emeritus professor Alan Dershowitz.

Writing for the Gatestone Institute, where he is a senior fellow, he points to a petition signed by hundreds of Havard Law School students and alumni seeking to bar the school from hiring anyone related to the Trump administration.

The petition “raises the specter of the new McCarthyism coming to the law school at which I taught for half a century.”

It states, Dershowitz wrote, that the school “faces a choice of whether to welcome the architects and backers of the Trump administration’s worse abuses back into polite society.”

“If it does so the school will be complicit if future attacks on our democracy are even more violent – and more successful,” the petition charges.

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz

Such a ban “would also teach ambitious students of all ages that attempting to subvert the democratic process” will deny them access to the “revolving door to success and prestige.”

That’s not far from what the “original McCarthyites tried to have Harvard convey in the 1950s, when students were denied editorship of the Law Review, clerkship recommendations, and other opportunities that they had earned, solely because of their alleged affiliation with Communism and other left wing causes,” he wrote.

“One would have thought that current Harvard Law School students would be familiar with the sordid history of McCarthyism that infected many American universities, including Brooklyn College, which I attended as an undergraduate and where I fought against the denial of civil liberties to suspected communists,” he said.

Also, he noted, the vague definitions in the petition — “anti-democratic, racists, xenophobic and immoral” — if applied across the board would result in bans on “supporters of American anti-democratic and anti-free speech group, such as Antifa, and the very organization — People’s Parity Project — that is promoting this anti-free speech petition.”

Further, he said the petition is based on the concept of a “Trump exception” to freedom of speech and due process.

“Free speech for me but for not for thee is not a defensible principle. Today it is the mantra of the new censors, who demand deplatforming and cancelling speakers, teachers and writers who disagree with their anti-Trump zealotry,” he said. “The voracious appetite of the censor, however, is rarely sated.

“Some are now trying to silence defenders of the Constitution, such as me, who opposed most of Trump’s policies but who also opposed what we believe were unconstitutional efforts to impeach him.”

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