An anti-Israel BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) resolution passed last spring by the Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) Student Senate was reversed Thursday by the ASUO Constitution Court, which ruled that it violated the ASUO Constitution.
For nearly a year, a number of pro-Israel corporations were blackballed by students on the campus who supported the pro-Palestinian campus resolution that was first introduced by Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER) – an anti-Semitic activist student group that promotes the anti-Israel BDS movement on campus.
“The resolution encouraged – but did not mandate – the university to boycott companies – such as Motorola, SodaStream and Sabra – that proponents of the resolution say support Israel’s occupation of Palestine,” the student-run campus newspaper, the Daily Emerald reported.
Pushing anti-Semitic politics
It was indicated in the ruling that a clear bias and a discriminatory leaning against Israel and Jews were the motivation behind the problematic resolution that backed the Palestinians’ contention that the Jewish State is illegitimate and should not exist – a view supported by adherents of Islam who believe that Israel should be wiped off the face of Earth.
“The judicial branch of UO’s student government wrote that the resolution does not comply with the ‘viewpoint-neutral’ position that public universities must follow when distributing student fees,” the Daily Emerald’s Ryan Nguyen informed. “The position is that public universities must administer student fees in a way that does not advocate for ‘a particular point of view,’ and it comes from the 2000 U.S. Supreme Court ruling held in Southworth v. The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.”
In other words, Supreme Court precedent maintains that public taxpayer funds should not be used to carry out or enforce political or religious worldviews and agendas – in this case, a mindset geared at propagating the Muslim-based idea that Israel is an apartheid state “oppressing” the Palestinians.
“For the ASUO Senate – the branch of student government that distributes these fees – the court’s opinion applies when governing over student fees such as the incidental fee, which all students pay to cover the cost of student groups’ budgets, tickets for athletic events and bus service for UO students in Lane County,” Nguyen explained. “The Senate manages about $16 million in incidental fees, according to the official ASUO website.”
In this case, the left-leaning, pro-Palestinian school senate was kept from overstepping its authority so it could no longer continue to carry out and encourage the voluntary campus-wide boycott against Israel.
“In a similar manner to the Supreme Court, the ASUO Constitutional Court has the power to review all resolutions passed by the Senate to ensure they abide by the ASUO Constitution – according to section 11.15 of the ASUO Constitution,” Nguyen added. “This power is an ‘inherent function of the ASUO’s system of checks and balances,’ the court wrote in its ruling.”
Through the ruling, it was confirmed that the BDS resolution clearly violated two sections of the ASUO Constitution.
“The first is Section 2.3, which bans the student body from ‘abridging the privileges and immunities of any person or program’ under school, state and federal laws,’” CBN News noted. “Second, Section 2.4 prohibits denying access to activities supported by student fees ‘for reasons of sex, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, handicap, political view, national origin or any other extraneous considerations.’”
Following the precepts upheld by the nation’s highest court, the University of Oregon concluded that it could not continue to allow an unconstitutional resolution to be carried out on campus any longer.
“These sections – the court argues – compel the court to comply with the U.S. Constitution and to determine that the BDS resolution violates the ASUO Constitution,” Nguyen pointed out. “The resolution states that it is binding; however, the court’s opinion held that it was a non-binding resolution.”
Since last fall, the passage of the controversial resolution has been under a heated debate on campus.
“The court’s decision to inquire about the constitutionality of the resolution began after Oct. 28, 2018, when ASUO Senate President Montserrat (Montse) Mendez-Higuera filed a motion for clarification,” Nguyen recounted. “These motions ask the court to determine if a new rule complies with the ASUO Constitution, according to section 6.6 of the ASUO Constitutional Court bylaws.”
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SOURCE: One News Now, Michael F. Haverluck