In case anyone was wondering what Floyd Abrams LAW ’60 thought of today’s Branford College Master’s Tea, the University has put out a statement with the answer. The constitutional law expert says in the statement that the decision to invite Kurt Westergaard, the author of one of the controversial cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, to campus was consistent with Yale’s mission to expose “students to the widest range of views, including highly controversial ones.”
Here it is in full:
Should Yale have permitted one of its college masters to invite Mr. Westergaard to speak on campus? Of course. Exposing students to the widest range of views, including highly controversial ones, is precisely what a great university should do. That Mr. Westergaard has offended some by some of his work, which would be constitutionally protected under any plausible reading of the First Amendment, does not begin to provide a basis for depriving those students who wish to hear him from doing so.
To say this is not to deny in the slightest that certain of Mr. Westergaard’s cartons have led some to take offense. But Yale’s mission is to be open to differing, conflicting, even disturbing opinion.