Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ARCHIVES: Scalia Protests at Princeton University (2001)

University Welcomes Scalia amidst Student Protests, The Daily Princetonian, By MOLLY GULLAND, Feb. 23. 2001

When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia comes to the University to speak this afternoon, he will not be well received by every member of the community. A group calling themselves the F23 Ad Hoc Committee — F23 stands for Feb. 23 — will be staging a protest at 7:30 p.m. outside McCosh Hall.

"Basically, we wanted to make people realize we don't think it's ok for [Scalia] to be invited to campus to speak on our behalf," said Traci Schlesinger GS, who helped organize the event.

Originally, the committee — made up mostly of members of the Democratic Left — expected a small turnout, but received a large response to its e-mail announcing the event, according to Schlesinger.

Despite enthusiastic replies to the e-mail, the group has no estimate of expected participation because organizations that responded did not say how many members they would send. Yesterday's snowfall also may limit attendance.

"We're really unsure how big it will be . . . we think there will be a lot more support than we had originally expected," Schlesinger said.

Scalia — known as one of the most conservative members of the Court — has sparked controversy with many of his views on current political issues. Traditionally, Scalia has ruled against abortion and affirmative action. He also sat on the court during this year's election crisis.

Ian Rozdilsky, a post-doctorate fellow in ecology who is also involved in the event, said the 2000 election was the greatest motivating factor for the protest.

"We believe Scalia's decision over the election was a deathblow to democracy," he said.

According to Schlesinger, the College Democrats, Princeton Pro-Choice and Black Graduate Caucus were just a few of the campus organizations planning to send members to the protest.

Outside groups, including the New Jersey National Organization for Women and Democratic March, also plan to attend, Rozdilsky said. He added that the committee has received encouragement from groups as far away as Florida and Texas, and said there is "widespread support [for the protest] outside the Princeton campus."

The committee plans to hand out flyers with pointed questions to people attending the talk, hoping some audience members will make the justice answer them.

Protesters will also carry picket signs and chant protests throughout Scalia's appearance.

The committee has no other events planned after today's protest — it wants to send a specific message to the University about its decision to invite Scalia to speak here.

"We believe that Princeton shouldn't welcome someone who has acted as Scalia, against democracy," Rozdilsky said.

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