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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Virginia GOP’s Embarrassing Inquisition – WSJ

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It’s election season in Virginia, where Republicans have been hemorrhaging support for more than a decade but have a shot at winning the governorship in November. What’s the state GOP up to? Tattling to the University of Virginia about a liberal professor’s anti-Donald Trump tweets.

Last Thursday the Virginia Republican Party chairman sent a letter to the state university’s president declaring that “Dr. Larry J. Sabato, founder and director of UVa’s Center for Politics, has been engaging in behavior that appears to violate UVa’s Mission Statement, the Center for Politics Mission Statement, and UVa’s Code of Ethics for Faculty and Staff.”

The letter lists eight tweets Mr. Sabato sent over the last year—mostly typical Democratic invective, such as, “Trump, who governed on the edge of insanity for four long years, has gone over the edge. Yet millions of people and 90%+ of GOP members of Congress, still genuflect before this false god.”

The Virginia GOP wants an “investigation” into whether Mr. Sabato’s “public display of bitter partisanship” broke the rules. But public university administrators, as state actors, can’t lawfully punish students or faculty for First Amendment expression.

Some conservatives want to deploy progressive silencing tactics for their own ends. Good luck achieving that in the liberal university. Inviting bureaucrats to exercise more control over political speech on campus will further cement liberal dominance.

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