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Guilt by Association and the Shunning of Amy Wax

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Amy Wax, a tenured law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is a nationally renowned thorn in the side of the academic establishment. She is well known on the public speaking circuit and regularly appears on conservative media outlets, where her unvarnished criticism of American higher education plays well to its detractors. After years of controversy, Theodore Ruger, dean of the law school at Penn, has apparently had enough and has called upon Vivian Gadsden, chair of the faculty senate, to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Wax.

I will leave it to others to weigh the veracity of the claims raised in the dean’s complaint, as well as what sanctions if any should be imposed on Wax. Even so, one of the accusations against her stands out as troubling on its face, not because of what she is alleged to have done, but because of its focus on guilt by association. Allegedly, Wax invited a white supremacist to speak to one of her classes, though details of the event are limited. Absent further context, this particular charge should send a chill down the spine of every academic who cares about unfettered inquiry.

Across every nook and cranny of the social and biological sciences, scholars concern themselves with the study of deviancy, and it is often of paramount importance to the advancement of their disciplines. Law schools, in particular, train graduates for careers in dealing with social deviancy, including through legal defense of the deviant. Are we to believe that their moral sensitivities will........

© American Thinker


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