Boston College & Mukasey

Yesterday ThinkProgress highlighted a story about Boston College Law School deciding to not honor Attorney General Michael Mukasey as planned when he speaks at their commencement this spring. Mukasey’s selection as the commencement speaker has been the subject of criticism because of his stance on torture.

Dan Roth, a 2004 Law School graduate, said that while he was pleased by yesterday’s announcement, he believes that the school should have rescinded Mukasey’s invitation altogether, because his position on waterboarding conflicts with the university’s Jesuit mission.

“It’s not the time to give someone who has taken that position the platform and the honor,” Roth said.

Eagleionline, the BC Law Blog, includes this quote from my former co-blogger at Emboldened, Austin Evers.

Austin Evers ‘09, who currently serves as the President of the Boston College Law School chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS), said, “This is good news. It is dangerous to conflate an invitation to speak with an endorsement of the speaker’s views by the institution. Attorney General Mukasey is still very controversial but I think this goes a long way to clarifying BC’s position on the matter.”

Evers is currently working with the administration to host an event on waterboarding and other issues surrounding the Attorney General’s invitations. He is also Managing Editor of Eagleionline.

I think we’re going to continue to see Bush administration officials have their speeches and awards protested and, hopefully, canceled thanks to student and alumni pressure on their schools.  In January students at Choate Rosemary Hall, a prep school in Connecticut, successfully protested the selection of Karl Rove as their commencement speaker. When Rove’s speech was rescheduled, students showed up and challenged not just his presence, but his damaging political views. Hopefully the Choate model will play out at BC and Mukasey will eventually be canceled as this year’s commencement speaker. But if he does end up speaking, I would expect students to continue to protest his presence on campus as representative of an administration that holds views contrary to the rule of law and their school’s mission.

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