St.Thomas Law School: You’re Out of Bounds


Tackling Torture at the Top (T3), after successfully chasing Condoleezza Rice out of town, returned to its work at the University of St. Thomas Law School and Prof. Robert Delahunty of the-Geneva-Conventions-do-not-apply-to-al-Qaeda-and-Taliban-detainees fame. At the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, he co-authored that memo, and several others, with John Yoo.
Last Saturday morning, St. Thomas Law School held an open house for prospective law students. We T3ers attended too. We had our banners, our signs, our orange jumpsuits and black hoods, and our leaflets with a quote from a 2005 Delahunty-Yoo article: “The Geneva Convention makes little sense when applied to a terrorist group or a pseudo-state. If we must fight these kinds of enemies, we must create a new set of rules. In that important respect, the Geneva Convention will become increasingly obsolete.”
The St. Thomas security guards were almost at DEFCON 1. They showed us where the law school property line was. They told us we couldn’t approach cars, and couldn’t approach people to leaflet them as they went in the doors, or we would be arrested for “Aggressive Solicitation,” which was a total mis-reading of the Minneapolis ordinance on which that statement was based.
One of us, having gotten permission in advance, had attended a day-long symposium at the law school earlier in the week. He was told at the demonstration he could have been arrested when, during the lunch hour of the symposium, he went across the skyway to eat in the cafeteria in a neighboring St. Thomas building.
Another of our members, holding one end of a large banner in a stiff wind, was about a foot on the wrong side of “the line.” Two security guards came out and took down the information on his driver’s license.
A student taking an LSAT preparation course came outside for a cigarette break. He asked what we were there for, and standing on the right side of “the line,” I handed him a leaflet. The guard came over to inform me I could have been arrested because my arm with the leaflet had crossed the property line. I am serious!
I had always thought if my feet were inbounds, and the leaflet never hit the ground, I could reach across the line with the leaflet in my hands and not be called “out of bounds.” Frankly, St. Thomas Law School, you are out of bounds.
If you would like to work with T3, an anti-torture/torture accountability group, please call Women Against Military Madness 612-827-5364.