On September 4, 2015 FAU constitutional law professors protested the university’s arbitrary use of an “Outside Employment/Activities Policy” to suppress faculty members’ off-campus speech. Professors expressed their grievance to FAU President John Kelly and other top administrators at a rancorous faculty senate meeting.
Three months later FAU used the same policy as a pretext to terminate Professor James Tracy for his controversial political blog. On September 19, 2019, the FAU policy was scrutinized before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in oral argument.
On December 11, 2017 the jury in the TracyvFAU 10-day trial returned a verdict in favor of defendant Florida Atlantic University. The federal case involved the work of over 12 attorneys and close to 500 separate legal briefs. Yet the decision’s implications for the First Amendment and free speech can be summarized in five minutes.
Trial attorney Matthew Benzion discusses Florida Atlantic University’s unlawful use of an “Outside Employment/Activities Policy” to fire Professor James Tracy and restrict faculty and staff speech before-the-fact–a policy that is now effectively part of federal law and can be arbitrarily used to police and reprimand any public employee’s personal activities and online speech.
In this forthcoming series of interview vignettes Attorneys Louis Leo IV and Matthew Benzion, alongside James Tracy and others, discuss Tracy’s 2016 case against Florida Atlantic University, the 10-day trial and misleading “fake news” media circus that surrounded the event, and the unfolding implications for free speech in higher education and broader social discourse.
If you’re in the process of applying for college, be warned that it isn’t just your grades and extracurricular activities that are being reviewed by schools. According to a report from the Washington Post, at least 44 public and private universities across the United States have started to work with third-party companies to collect and track data on prospective students, including web browsing activity and financial history. These practices could lead to schools favoring students based on financial incentives for the school, placing students from low-income backgrounds at a disadvantage.
According to the Post, the tracking process begins as soon as a student first directs their browser to a school’s website. Many schools have started to implement tracking software on their sites that are able to identify a person based on other online activity. This type of software, often called a cookie, is typically associated with online advertising. When you visit a site searching for boots, for instance, and all of a sudden start seeing advertisements for boots on other sites, it’s because of tracking cookies. In the case of these schools, those cookies are used to gauge a person’s interest in the university. It tracks their activity, on site and off, and can use data about the person’s location and interests to determine who the student is. That information is given to the admissions office to pair with existing data about the student, including their name, contact information, and additional details about their life like when they are graduating and what areas of the school they showed interest in based on activity on the site, and where the student lives.
Editor’s Note: This Federal Bureau of Investigation Field Report was produced in 2017 and originally appeared in the appendices of Edward Klein’s All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump (Regnery Publishing, 2017).
Report to the Office of Director FBI And Field Offices
Office of Director and Field Offices Informational Report
Delivered July 11, 2017
Task force covered G-20 meeting in Hamburg studied intel from local authorities, Interpol and other assets, determined that as assumed U.S. based anarchist/radical groups had traveled to Germany and took part in the violence. There is also evidence of meetings between these individuals and associates of ISIS. There is clearly overwhelming evidence that there are growing ties between U.S. radials and the Islamic State as well as several offshoots and splinter group affiliates.
There is an urgent need to closely surveil the identified individuals.
The bizarre and unfounded allegations of Palo Alto University Professor Christine Blasey Ford concerning Supreme Court nominee Brent Kavanaugh is causing an acute outbreak of Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), a particular type of behavioral disorder caused by the nationalistic, politically incorrect, and often irreverent US presidential incumbent.
This specific manifestation of TDS is evidenced as outrage over Kavanaugh’s alleged 36-year-old high school exploits, in contrast to his outstanding academic qualifications and professional achievements. Despite the profuse number of holes in Blasey Ford’s testimony and her deep state pedigree, even the very highly-educated Left embrace her without reservation.