Decisions: Correcting Students in Court

In what they called a "peaceful protest" last spring, Columbia's rebellious students seized control of several university buildings, held a dean hostage and rifled private files. But university punishment, they insisted, would be downright illegal. Rather than answer a summons to a disciplinary proceeding, five of them went to federal court.

There they asked for an injunction barring any university action against them. Instead, last week they got a dressing down from Judge Marvin Frankel. Like an exasperated teacher correcting careless students back on the campus, the former Columbia law professor dismissed the legal arguments as "a whole series of...

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