for professors may appear as an extraordinarily good deal, it is essentially the same as permanent employment in the federal civil service or the lifetime tenure of judges in federal courts. Van Alstyne, "Academic Freedom and the First Amendment. Lacking definition or guiding principle, the doctrine floats in law, picking up decisions as a hull does barnacles. School teachers have pupils who are between 5 and 18 years of age, while university professors have students who are at least 18 years of age (i.e., old enough to vote in political elections in the USA). In practice, the notion of academic freedom is invoked to justify statements by faculty that offend politicians, religious leaders, corporate executives, parents of students, and citizens.
Judicial recognition of academic freedom The first reported judicial opinion in the USA to mention "academic freedom" was a horrible decision of a New York State court. My concern is that professors in the USA may believe that academic freedom is a valid legal doctrine with power and vitality, when in fact it is often only empty rhetoric by professors and judges. The following words from the majority opinion by Chief Justice Warren are often"d: We believe that there unquestionably was an invasion of petitioner's liberties in the areas of academic freedom and political expression areas in which government should be extremely reticent to tread. A history of academic freedom in the USA from 1865 to 1917, the time during which ideas of academic freedom were imported from Germany and the time during which the modern university devoted to scholarly research began to appear in the USA. Byrne observes, it is a fundamental part of academic life to criticize professors for the content of their speech: "It is of the essence that worthy ideas be distinguished from dull.".
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