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Friday, October 03, 2003
The CRENOGate supporters have issued their latest legal defense, which adds new cases to the basic Wisconsin one. It relies on an extremely odd and tenuous interpretation of the concept of 'viewpoint neutrality,' as well as not addressing the crucial distinction between student groups and student governments. It also doesn't address the distinction between allowing political spending and requiring it. The Clam analyzes it here.
But lets assume for a minute that the legal argument is 100% correct and examine the consequences.
First off, there is no argument that campaign finance restrictions weren't violated. That would be important.
Second, even assuming that this spending is completely legal, it will require the ASUC suing the Regents to prove. The Administration has already scoffed at the legal argument and can sit all day blocking expenditures. Note that there has been no denial that the ASUC/GA violated campus regulations. They've more or less accepted it! Thus, the only way to push this forward is a lawsuit to prove that the regulations themselves are illegal!
Furthermore, lets say that any reasonable judge will find for the GA/ASUC on all counts. This requires that the judge be reasonable on all four of the possible exceptions the Administration can use-- that it wasn't viewpoint neutral, the student government is not a student group, we're not required to allow political speech, and you can't force us to spend money that would violate campaign finance rules. The Administration only has to win on one point-- or rather, any Judge will have to be so reasonable to find for the ASUC/GA FOUR TIMES. This also assumes that the Administration, losing, won't appeal to a higher level, where the ASUC/GA has to win four times again...
In sum, even assuming the GA/ASUC is legally correct, they're locked into a course that requires heavy legal expenditures and heavy bets against all odds in order to get any spending approved
I forgot that ASUC offices and phones were used for this campaign, which is another possible violation.
Anyway, even supporters of the ASUC/GA spending should take stock of their legal/political situation. It's a thin, thin reed! Back off now before it's too late...Email This Post!
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