Once again, let us open our hymnals to the Book of McEnroe, and sing lustily and with good courage. The University of Illinois tells faculty

they could not wear political buttons on campus or feature bumper stickers on cars parked in campus lots unless the messages on those buttons and stickers were strictly nonpartisan

Me, I’m at least as squeamish as Weatherson about political advocacy on campus. And I can just about, if I squint real hard, see the case against buttons, on the ground that while you’re on campus you represent the state and in that capacity you can’t advocate for a particular political candidate. (Although it’s quite likely that anything a professor likes, the students will reflexively reject.) Even so I’m reasonably sure there’s a solid First Amendment challenge to that stricture.

But seriously, no political bumper stickers? That seems an extraordinary reach. How far is it from there to say, no lawn signs, because people in your neighborhood know you’re a professor, so you represent the state, and….

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