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GA Professor's Sue Governor Deal and AG Carr Over Campus Carry

3067 Views 34 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  45_Fan

A half-dozen professors from three Georgia universities have sued Gov. Nathan Deal and Attorney General Chris Carr over claims Georgia's campus carry bill violates the state's constitution.
The hotly debated legislation allowing licensed gun owners to carry firearms nearly anywhere on state college and university campuses, which was passed and signed into law earlier this year, allegedly violates the constitutional mandate that the state Board of Regents retains sole authority over the "government, control, and management of the University System of Georgia."
The campus-carry bill in conjunction with the "right to carry law" allowing guns to be carried anywhere in the state not specifically prohibited, and the "preemption provision," which bars any city, county or the political subdivision from regulating guns, work to "usurp the Board of Regents' constitutionally conferred, exclusive authority" to control Georgia campuses.
The complaint names Deal and Carr in their individual capacities and was filed on behalf of tenured professors from the University of Georgia, Valdosta State University and Georgia Southwestern University. The filing attorneys, Jones Day partner Peter Canfield and associates Jennifer Bunting-Graden, Brian Lea and Charlotte Taylor, were not immediately available for comment.
Edit: This is link from same source but is somehow different:
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University of Georgia geography professor John Knox, who is described in the complaint as a gun owner, said guns on campus "make the learning environment less safe for everyone and negatively impact his educational mission." Valdosta State professor Michael Noll fears "armed intimidation or gun violence from students who receive failing grades." Noll has posted a "no weapons" sign on his faculty office door, according to the complaint. Aristotelis Santas, a Valdosta State professor, said he "will no longer promote discussion of hot-button issues in his classroom" and allows students to leave his class if they don't feel safe.

A First Amendment lawyer by reputation, Peter has had involvement with Second Amendment issues beginning with his representation of the Mayor of New York City in a defamation lawsuit brought by a Georgia gun dealer. He has since represented the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Everytown For Gun Safety in Second Amendment litigation in Georgia and elsewhere in the country, including Colorado, Florida, and Washington State.
The actual complaint can't come soon enough... I need a good laugh.

Decriminalizing the places you can carry a firearm violates the constitution??... but doesn't that in fact mean that any law regarding guns on campus violates the constitution? If so then no law can be made regarding carry or anything else regarding any college (therefore it must be legal)? It can only be trespass or a violation of student/employee rules and not actually a violation of state law?

Yeah, lets go with that. Only students and staff cannot have firearms... but anyone else cannot be prohibited in any way.

Seems like this would be a major backfire if they won.
Do the plaintiffs have standing, when the USG is not a party and is not challenging the law? These are just some lefty professors. You do not get to challenge a law (or, in this case, the lack of a law, the repeal of a law) just because you disagree with it.

Decriminalizing the places you can carry a firearm violates the constitution??
The constitution gives the board of regents power over the university system. This came up during the very first attempt at campus carry. The BoR attorneys quickly came to the conclusion that the General Assembly still had power over the criminal law on campus, including criminal laws relating to the carry of weapons.

Here in Georgia, we have an additional reason to be wary about political interference with university autonomy: our own troubling history. In 1941, Georgia's then-Gov. Eugene Talmadge spearheaded a direct assault on the state's institutes of higher education by declaring that he would fire any university employees who stood for "communism or racial equality." Talmadge's first target was a man named Walter Cocking, who was the dean of the University of Georgia's College of Education. Claiming that Cocking supported racially integrated classrooms, Talmadge demanded he be fired. The Board of Regents refused, and so Talmadge removed and replaced several regents until he eventually had a board that would do his bidding.

Within a year, Talmadge's tactics had led to the firing of 10 more esteemed educators (including the vice chancellor of the university system). The Board of Regents had lost all political independence. And the schools' libraries were purged of "subversive" books that were deemed to encourage concepts like racial equality or communism. Talmadge's political power grab only ended after several Georgia colleges and universities lost their accreditation, and Talmadge was defeated in his run for re-election.

So damaging was the "Cocking Affair," as it became known, to the independence of Georgia's colleges and universities that two years later the state amended its constitution. The new provision explicitly gives the Board of Regents constitutional power over "the government, control, and management" of the state's colleges and universities. Whether that constitutional provision provides a legal defense against Georgia's campus-carry law has not yet been tested in the courts. But the underlying threat of political intrusion into university administration remains the same now as it was in 1941.
Art. VIII, Section IV, Par. I:
(b) The board of regents shall have the exclusive authority to create new public colleges, junior colleges, and universities in the State of Georgia, subject to approval by majority vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Such vote shall not be required to change the status of a college, institution or university existing on the effective date of this Constitution. The government, control, and management of the University System of Georgia and all of the institutions in said system shall be vested in the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

(c) All appropriations made for the use of any or all institutions in the university system shall be paid to the board of regents in a lump sum, with the power and authority in said board to allocate and distribute the same among the institutions under its control in such way and manner and in such amounts as will further an efficient and economical administration of the university system.
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The argument was dropped by the USG because it's really kind of silly to stretch that independence from the Governor into their own private kingdom. They cannot create their own criminal laws, courts, prisons, and militaries. The provision was aimed at a certain evil, and the courts will interpret the provision consistently with the evil in mind and the remedy.
What if the legislature repealed all of the drug laws? Could professors who agree with the War on Drugs sue and claim this violates the BoR's constitutionally mandated independence? Could the art professor who does the blown glass talk about all the dangers of high students around his furnace?

Would they have standing?

I think the answer is clearly no.

"Time to go quiet for a while," Knox said in a Facebook post Monday night. "What I do, I do for the students."
Morehead also declined to comment on the lawsuit during an unrelated media briefing Wednesday, but he added that he is not aware of any issues with guns on campus since the law took effect July 1.
I will say that campus carry, with respect to the [UGA] campus, we have been able to implement the new rule," he said. "We have been proceeding forward without any incidents on campus, and we will continue to follow the law."
Interesting. ALL policy arguments. The policy decision has already been made. The courts do not get to make the policy decision. The fact that they spent so much time discussing policy tells me this was filed more for publicity than in a serious attempt to overturn the law.

They filed the complaint two days ago.
Educated beyond their intelligence.
The Trace doesn't mention their boss is paying for it.
Barry Hollander‏ @barryhollander
Not being a conlaw expert, I need a knowledgeable writer to break down the odds of this UGA prof legal challenge to campus carry.

5:56 PM - 27 Sep 2017 from Athens, GA
Barry is a journalism professor at UGA

Blake Aued‏ @BlakeAued 5m5 minutes ago
Replying to @barryhollander
Don't think it will fly, but closer to man on street than con law expert. Argument that it usurps BOR's authority is pretty ingenious tho.
Blake is the editor of the Athens rag the Flagpole

Anthony M. Kreis‏Verified account @AnthonyMKreis [URL="]4m4 minutes ago[/URL]
Probability of success is zero, sadly. Theories about it impinging academic freedom, for example, are weak. Not any other theory is better.
Anthony is a law professor in Chicago(from Atlanta I believe)
Same arguments were made in Texas over campus carry there. Case dismissed due to lack of standing.

Barry is a journalism professor at UGA

Blake is the editor of the Athens rag the Flagpole

Anthony is a law professor in Chicago(from Atlanta I believe)
Blake Aued‏ @BlakeAued 13h13 hours ago

Replying to @AnthonyMKreis @barryhollander
What about whether gun policy on campus is the Regents' prerogative not the legislature's? Seems slightly more promising, maybe.

Barry Hollander‏ @barryhollander 13h13 hours ago
That's the only wedge. Are there any precedents? I haven't read the suit, been traveling and just saw a brief story or two. Need 280 chars.

Anthony M. Kreis‏Verified account @AnthonyMKreis 12h12 hours ago
That's a more promising avenue under the Ga. Constitution, yes.

Barry Hollander‏ @barryhollander 12h12 hours ago
You'd need a strong previous case where the Regents successfully told the legislature to take a hike and was upheld in court.

Blake Aued‏ @BlakeAued 12h12 hours ago
There are references to the Cocking Affair and various cases involving BOR autonomy.

Barry Hollander‏ @barryhollander [URL="]12h12 hours ago[/URL]
Clearly the Cocking Affair should be cited for no other reason than it's called the Cocking Affair.
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