Thursday morning on AirTalk, we heard from attorney Carole Sobel and UC Irvine Law School dean Erwin Chemerinsky about the likelihood of criminal charges resulting from the students’ disruption of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s talk at the school. You might recall that the students were removed from the room and arrested at the event, which took place last February 8th. You can watch video of the incident on the AirTalk page.
Now, attorneys for the students say they’re concerned that Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is seeking felony grand jury indictments against their clients. Sobel described the possible felony as conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor.
Dean Chemerinsky’s position is that the students didn’t have a first amendment right to disrupt the speech, but that criminal charges aren’t warranted. UCI had already taken disciplinary action against the disruptive students and suspended the Muslim Student Union for the fall 2010 quarter. The MSU is also serving two years of probation.
What do you think about the “Irvine 11” possibly facing criminal charges, either misdemeanors or felonies? Should UCI’s internal response stand as sufficient punishment, or is a criminal filing required?