legal decision against academic trips to Cuba
WASHINGTON.— Randall C. Marshall,
legal representative of the American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU) has described as disappointing the U.S.
Supreme Court ruling to leave intact a Florida law
prohibiting the use of public funds for academic
trips to Cuba.
It is a wrong law which sends a
distorted message on academic freedom in Florida,
and a sad moment for academic activity, he affirmed.
In his view, the ban will restrict
the use of public capital and contributions
traditionally granted by foundations and private
organizations for the work of universities in this
state, home to a number of groups plotting and
perpetrating acts of terrorism against Cuba.
On June 25, the Supreme Court,
mostly composed of conservative magistrates,
declined to review the law without presenting any
arguments, thus leaving intact the restriction
imposed by Florida in 2006.
Professors from various schools and
universities in the state challenged the law this
month, with the backing of ACLU, on the grounds that
it is unconstitutional and interferes with foreign
policy established by the federal government.
The law, sponsored by Republican
Congressman David Rivera, also bars student travel
to Sudan, Syria and Iran, listed by the Department
of State as countries sponsoring terrorism. (PL)