Sunday, April 1, 2012
Jimmy Carter Prize: Judge James Ware
We previously reported on an incident in which the principle of Live Oaks High school demanded that several students turn their American Flag t-shirts inside out, because he feared that it would offend Hispanic students who were celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Amazingly, a federal court, presided by Judge James Ware, ruled that the school was justified in curtailing the 1st Amendment Rights of these students, because of its concerns about public safety. At its core, the issue is that judge is supporting the principle's decision to take the low road and acquiesce to the demands of the mob, rather than the defend the rights of free expression. This is equivalent to a principle cancelling a meeting of a club for gay students, because they feared the response of homophobic students.Furthermore, the judge should have noted and objected to the asymmetrical policy of the principle; if the assistant principle was truly concerned that patriotic displays would lead to conflict, should he not have banned the display of American and Mexican flags? And does the fact that the assistant principle did not respond to the indignation of Hispanic Students with reason and dialogue (as he did with the flag wearing students) indicate that he holds them in low regard? For this reason we proudly bestow the Jimmy Carter Prize for the Advancement of Douchebagery to Judge James Ware.