Fox, David
September 2011
University of Toledo Law Review;Fall2011, Vol. 43 Issue 1, p173
Academic Journal
ACADEMIC freedom has long been recognized as an essential right by the Supreme Court. In the past, however, most threats to academic freedom could have been fairly characterized as rights already guaranteed under the Constitution. For instance, academic freedom has been asserted in cases implicating the First Amendment protections of freedom of religion, speech, or association. However, a recent Virginia case demonstrates the growing influence of the political branches on academia, including scientific research into matters of great importance to the public welfare. This case suggests there may be a need for the Court to reaffirm its earlier holdings, which have recognized academic freedom as an extension of the First Amendment. In so doing, the Court will affirm academic freedom as a fundamental right. While there may be instances in which the government needs to limit academic freedom in order to further some other compelling interest, the judiciary should be allowed to determine whether an action that has the effect of restricting academic freedom is, in fact, narrowly tailored to effectuate that interest.


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