Bhattacharya v. Murray: Stunning Court Refutation of WOKE

A Second Year Student at the University of Virginia Medical School challenged a panel discussion on “ micro-aggressions”. He asked, politely, for intellectual rigor in research methodology and argued against generalization.

Reading the back and forth that followed, you see the elements of a true debate. Surprisingly, he stuck to his point of view. But, by arguing against something so in fashion, he became a heretic. Soon thereafter he was disciplined, suspended and then expelled. At each “ discipline meeting”, he held his ground and each defense recast him as unrepentant. Finally, they tossed him out for not representing “ professional standards”. It was not for lack of competence but for being , at worst, an iconoclast.

file:///Users/joel/Downloads/Bhattacharya%20v.%20Murray%20(2).pdf must be read widely and discussed. Though the Court dismissed concurrent claims of other Constitutional violations, it adamantly supported going forward on First Amendment grounds. Once this sinks in, it should fundamentally change our national dialogue.

Challenges to free speech, as has become ubiquitous as a defense of opinion and public policy , is wrong and illegal. The student is suing, on this basis, for damages and that award, which will likely follow, will have an impact. When there is a material price for abrogating rights (as in a civil right), the passion for punishing others will abate.

What is of special interest is why this important legal case has itself been suppressed. I did not know of it until a Medical School Faculty person sent it along. When ‘ cancel culture’ extends to burying critical Federal Court opinions of constitutional rights, we are on very thin ice.

When those so awash in social justice become unjust, we move to Santayana’s caution that fanaticism is reason that has lost sight of its aims. Remember this case for it will or should restore the core tenet of a democracy, to be a real pain in the butt to the powerful.




Professor of Medicine , essayist, practitioner, basic research and education ; reflections on medicine and modern society

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Joel B. Levine MD

Joel B. Levine MD

Professor of Medicine , essayist, practitioner, basic research and education ; reflections on medicine and modern society

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