From Adler to Keyishian: Academic Freedom and the Fight for the Rights of Public Employees
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In the early morning of January 24, 1967, Harry Keyishian was awoken by a phone call to his home. A friend who worked at the New York Times was ringing to tell him that the Supreme Court had sided with him and four colleagues against their employer, the State University of New York at Buffalo. One of these colleagues, George Hochfield, saw the decision reported in that day’s paper and danced down the hall of his office building in jubilation. The five SUNY professors had won constitutional backing for their refusal, three years earlier, to sign an anti-subversive loyalty oath required by New York state law. The Court’s ruling ended years of stressful legal wrangling for the professors and, for Keyishian, an episode that had cost him his job teaching English at the upstate school.
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