Chuck DeVore: Missing that Page in His Pocket Constitution on Free Speech

State Rep. Chuck DeVore (R-almost my neighbor but I live in a better development in Irvine) went on the Glenn Beck show recently and touted his copy of the pocket version of the US Constitution.  Chuck, a favorite of the Teabagger movement, has called for the banning of the Muslim Student Union from the campus of UC-Irvine. I have to guess Chuck is missing that page of his pocket US Constitution about the First Amendment. 

Study up!

From the story in “DeVore, R-Irvine, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., also accused the Muslim Student Union of “passing the hat” for Hamas at a fundraiser for the “terrorist organization” last year.

“It’s time to ban this organization from campus,” DeVore said. “It’s not contributing anything of value to the campus.”

DeVore’s letter to UCI Chancellor Michael Drake requesting the ban of the Muslim Student Union follows the arrest of 11 students after allegedly disrupting a Feb. 8 speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at the campus.

UCI Media Relations Director Cathy Lawhon said the university’s response to DeVore’s letter is that UCI officials are considering the allegations against the 11 students and the Muslim Student Union. The students and organization face a range of discipline from a warning to expulsion, but it is not known when officials will decide on punishment, Lawhon said.”

While the students in question may face charges, the charges should be associated with crimes they may have committed not the act of exercising their free speech rights.

UPDATE: We received the following response to DeVore’s comments from Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director Council on American Islamic Relations CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area.

“This is a typical self-serving and irresponsible move by Chuck DeVore in an attempt to score a few political points at the expense of the Muslim students and community. Mr. DeVore is riding on the wave of anti-Muslim sentiment in order to boost his failing U.S. Senate race and attract a few votes from a few bigots in Orange County.”

As for his demand to ban a Muslim student group from UCI, it is un-American and illegal to do so. All students, including Muslim-American students, have the right to organize and participate in the college experience.”

In his letter to Chancellor Drake, DeVore wrote that “It’s time to ban this organization from campus. It’s not contributing anything to the value of campus.” If that is the basis of the ban, then shall we expect a ban on Mr. DeVore from politics?

Bashing Muslims is nothing new to Chuck.  There’s this piece from his Facebook page about a blog post I wrote in 2008 after Irvine council member Steven Choi compared Todd Gallinger to an extremist Islamic terrorist because Todd represented the local chapter of CAIR on immigration issues.

Let’s go to this seciton of the piece Chuck wrote:

“Lastly, whatever one thinks of Mr. Chmielewski’s assertion that Dr. Choi was improperly injecting religion into politics in his critique of Mr. Gallinger and CAIR, it is relevant to note in this discussion that none other than CAIR’s own Chairman Emeritus, Omar Ahmed, said the Muslim holy book, the Koran, should be the “highest authority in America, and the Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”

One can only imagine Mr. Chmielewski’s outrage at council candidate Choi if Choi uttered such about the Christian faith.

If you are still not convinced about the connections between CAIR and HAMAS, then don’t take my word for it, believe liberal California Senator Barbara Boxer who, in late 2006, took back an award she gave to CAIR official Basim Elkarra after she learned about Mr. Elkarra’s CAIR involvement.  Sen. Boxer herself “expressed concern” about CAIR’s actions and past statements while her press secretary said that CAIR “gives aid to international terrorist groups.”

So, could Councilman Choi and Sen. Boxer be right and Mr. Chmielewski be wrong about CAIR and whether Mr. Gallinger’s close connection with them should be a matter of public discourse?  It looks like it will be up to the voters of Irvine to decide on November 4.”

Let’s imagine if you will, a politician (any politician), called for the banning of a Christian group on campus because they exercised their right of free speech.  Better still, let’s say UCI took steps to ban a conservative political group on campus because some of their members held up posted of Nancy Pelosi as Stalin or President Obama as Hitler at a local teabagger event?  Would that be OK?  I know, let’s ban any organization on campus that advocates that marriage is only between a man and a woman. 

This call for banning a Muslim organization on campus is red meat for Chuck’s conservative base.  And while it might help him in a primary battle, it dooms him in the general election.

If Chuck DeVore is truly the patriotric red white and blue American he professes to be, leave the free speech to individuals even if it personally makes his blood boil.  It’s all about freedom and liberty that Chuck seeks to deny them.  Or are those terms only associated with paying too much in taxes?

  9 comments for “Chuck DeVore: Missing that Page in His Pocket Constitution on Free Speech

  1. junior
    February 24, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Dean: UCI protesters violated free speech

    Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law and an internationally-renowned expert on the Constitution, says that the students who yelled at Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren during a campus lecture Monday were suppressing free speech.

    “They shouted him down,” Chemerinsky said. “Imagine if they had brought their own speaker and that person had been shouted down. There would be no free speech. There is no right to a ‘heckler’s veto’ “.

    Should a student organization which consistently violates the free speech and freedom to peaceably assemble rights of others be allowed to continue to violate those rights?

  2. Howard be my name
    February 25, 2010 at 6:04 am

    “Should a student organization which consistently violates the free speech and freedom to peaceably assemble rights of others be allowed to continue to violate those rights?”

    No. And if they don’t clean up their act after Drake discusses the incident with them, then perhaps they should be shut down. But that’s not the right decision now.

  3. Hubris
    February 25, 2010 at 7:15 am

    “almost my neighbor but I live in a better development in Irvine”

    This kind of comment is unbecoming, and defines, you, Dan.

    • Howard be my name
      February 25, 2010 at 9:07 am

      People might agree with you if they thought DeVore was deserving of anyone’s respect.

    • February 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm

      I’m always accused of being a limousine liberal; might as well say it. I do live in a nicer house than he does.

  4. Alexandra Foster
    February 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I think its high time that the MUSLIMS of this Country start backing down and shutting their big mouths! I have it with the disruptive behavior and no respect for the Constitution or the United States. What all of you don’t get is we could one day find ourselves having to live under sharia law!!! If you aren’t a citizen of the US, I don’t think you have the right to claim the CONSTITUTION as your own! You are a guest here! Its high time we start making rules that suppress the MUSLIMS of this country! Little by little they keep chipping away at our constitution to the point one day we won’t have one and we will live under sharia law. What bothers me even more is that are getting a way with honor killings because there faith which is also their law allows them to do so! This isn’t our law! This is their law, so when did our laws go by the way to allow these people to get away with the horrendous acts they are allowed to get away with because its their religion. Ghee what would happen if a religion was born here in the US that said killing MUSLIMS was all about my religion! Freedom of speech to say this and speak it! If it becomes apart of my belief and religion I too one day might get a way with murder too!

    • February 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm


      Wow, there is so much wrong with your comment that I really don’t know where to start. But I will give it a shot.

      Exactly how can you conclude that “the Musilms” are not citizens? How do you arrive at the conclusion that “they are guests here?” Just what would you say to the Tea Pary protestors who disrupted the town hall meeting of their members of Congress? Would you say that they should shut up and respect the Constitution?

      What part of the First Amendment do you and the likes of Chuck DeVore not get? The Constitution applies to everyone in this country, not just Christians or Republicans.

      I think we have more to fear from Christian Fundamentalists and their arbitrary laws based upon their reading of scripture. Christian Fundamentalists far outnumber any group of religious zealots in this country.

      Read the Constitution, it makes it quite clear that there will be no law based upon a religious belief in this country. That covers Muslim or Christian based laws.

  5. Sam Azer
    March 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    You couldn’t be more wrong on the free speech angle. It is the MSU at UCI who constantly attacks the rights of others on free speech, the Michael Ornin speech was just one example, where dozens of MSU members continuously interrupted and attempted to stop the event. Secondly, you keep arguing about “what if they banned other groups…”, there is a big difference between Christian or Liberal groups or Conservative groups compared to a group that calls for the destruction of other nations, or the execution of gays, or the oppression of women as the MSU at UCI has called for.

  6. Dan Chmielewski
    March 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    And if this is the case, then use free speech to counter MSU. The point of Free Speech is to shout at the top of your lunngs your opposition to the point of view someone who shouts at the top of his lungs in opposition to yours. Banning the group is not the answer. Protest them, educate others about their points of views, denounce their leaders, denounce their viewpoints, but banning them begins that slippery slope downwards into tyranny.

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