Wednesday, United States District Court Judge Williams Downes ruled that our friends up north at the University of Wyoming cannot ban former terrorist turned professor William Ayers from speaking on campus, and rightly so.
The university had claimed that Ayersâ€™ speech was a security threat, but Downes did not buy the argument and ruled that prohibiting him from speaking would be a violation of the First Amendment.
Ayers, who resurfaced during the 2008 presidential campaign as an acquaintance of then-Sen. Barack Obama (â€œpalling around with terroristsâ€ as the Sarah Palin adage goes), currently teaches at the University of Illinois, but is better known for his days blowing things like the Pentagon up as part of the Weather Underground anti-Vietnam protest group in the early 1970s.
Ayers was eventually arrested and charged with numerous crimes, but all charges were dropped due to some illegal tactics employed by the FBI in arresting him. Needless to say, many people around the country hate Ayers and even wish he were dead.
But, regardless of Ayers criminal history or radical views, nothing supercedes his right to speak, including Wyomingâ€™s â€œfearâ€ of violent action against him.
Freedom of speech is the most important law of the land. Without the right to say what you think, you really have little else.
And while it is the case that no one should listen to lunatics like Ayers, itâ€™s equally true that no one should allow a public university like Wyoming to try to forbid him from speaking.