February 26, 2015

CIVIL LIBERTIES UPDATE: U.Va. professor to receive academic freedom award at CPAC for defending due process.

James W. Ceaser, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia, will be honored at the Conservative Political Action Conference for his defense of due process in the wake of a Rolling Stone article telling the now-discredited story of a brutal gang rape at the school.

Ceaser, in an article for the Weekly Standard, defended due process by calling out his own employer for the way it handled the Rolling Stone debacle.

“Even on the level of future policy changes, this problem can only be properly addressed if it is presented in an unbiased way, not in terms of a preconceived framework,” Ceaser wrote. “The moral dimension of disregarding the truth also cannot be forgotten.”

Ceaser argued that the truth never mattered in the Rolling Stone article, because even when the story was abandoned by the magazine, it was used by activists to further their agenda.

But Ceaser’s refusal to condemn his university for an imaginary crime or give in to mob justice has earned him the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Award for Academic Freedom, presented by the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

“These times require a thoughtful and courageous voice on college campuses, and Professor Ceaser has been such a voice,” Michael W. Grebe, president of the Bradley Foundation, said in a press release. “A man of intellectual rigor, principle, and moral clarity, James Ceaser is a beacon for all academia.”

Most academics, alas, are go-along-to-get-along types.

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