Harvard revokes admission of several students for posting “offensive” memes

The First Amendment of the constitution protects the incoming students’ right to say whatever they like, even if Harvard doesn’t like it. And, as a private institution that is not regulated by the First Amendment, Harvard has the right to kick out incoming students unwise enough to exercise their rights in this manner. (The government can’t throw you in jail simply for choosing to speak; but you’ll still have to face the social consequences of whatever you do choose to say.)

Harvard University revoked admissions for at least 10 incoming students after the school discovered the individuals were posting explicit and obscene memes…. Legal experts say the issue is cut-and-dry and the students do not have First Amendment recourse.  “These students have absolutely no free speech rights that were violated in this context,” said Katherine Franke, a professor at Columbia University Law School.  “The First Amendment’s Free Speech protections apply only to violations by public entities, and since Harvard is a private university the First Amendment does not apply,” she said. “These students have no right or entitlement to admission to Harvard, and as such it is Harvard’s prerogative to decide that it will not welcome into its community these individuals who have demonstrated a willingness to violate Harvard’s code of ethics and policies against hate speech,” she said. —NBC News

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