James O’Keefe is at it again. This time with video that shows a campus official shredding a copy of the U.S. Constitution to placate a student. I enjoy O’Keefe’s antics but unfortunately that is all they are. He holds up for ridicule a class that is incapable of recognizing irony and is incapable of shame. If he was playing practical jokes on a dog we would call him cruel and heartless.
Mr. O’Keefe makes no bones that he is probably closer to Ken Kesey’s “Merry Pranksters” than Mike Wallace’s Sixty Minutes crew. That’s fine. In order to have a lasting effect the end product needs to have the weight and integrity that it can be used as evidence. He got lucky with ACORN and Planned Parenthood, but now the left has come up with a settled response to everything he does.
Trying to get the end product into criminal court may be a bridge too far, but there might be civil or administrative actions than can be and ought to be pursued. I am not an attorney but as a police officer operated under the specter of what we called 1983 (civil)/1984 (criminal) actions, Federal Civil Rights Violations. It appears to me that anybody working for a state supported institution is liable for their actions under 1983. A quick perusal of case law may indicate this would hold true for schools accepting Title 9 money. Pockets don’t get any deeper than Harvard’s. Here is the Federal Statute:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.
A prime target would be the various kangaroo courts that have sprung up on campuses across the US. Students are compelled to attend and participate in hearings without benefit of counsel, no ability to cross examine witnesses or present evidence, these are violations of civil rights.
I once worked in a county where the local District Attorney filed a kidnapping charge on the High Sheriff for hitting the stop button on the elevator in a three story building in order to proposition a young lady. As the indictment said, “the Sheriff took her to a place where she was not likely to be found for an immoral purpose.” Under the DA’s theory, I figure being dragged into a “star chamber” type inquiry ought to meet that definition and be a civil right violation.
The administration has demonstrated that it is incapable of recognizing a felony. Why would a rational person believe that this same administration is capable of being swayed by being embarrassed? The civil courts could be one of the last forums open to conservatives.