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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

UJ rejects bid to block BTV vote

Published: March 25, 2005
Section: News

Village Senator David Fried filed a case against BTV asking the Union Judiciary to stop the vote because he claimed that BTV misrepresented the amendment to students who signed it. The UJ rejected his injunction request.

We, the Union Judiciary, unanimously deny the request of Mr. Fried to enjoin the BTV proposed amendment (the amendment) from being placed on a general campus ballot. Ultimately, the court finds that Mr. Fried failed to demonstrate the existence of any irreparable harm to any party should the amendment not be enjoinedas the burden of proof in such an instance lies with the plaintiff, the Union Judiciary has no choice but to find that no possibility for such harm exists. While the Union Judiciary recognizes the possibility that some harms may occur in the event of the amendments passage, it is apparent that there is no harm that could not be easily remedied by way of an appeal on the merits.

The court rejects on face Mr. Frieds assertion that an affirmative vote of the student body would in any way color or bring bias to the Union Judiciarys ability to fairly adjudicate such an appeal. It is the role of the Union Judiciary to assess constitutional validity, not to be swayed by student interest. The body has a long history of doing so, and I see no reason to believe that my brethren and I will not be able to continue this.

In general, when evaluating injunctive relief, courts generally weigh a combination of factors. The considerations that are weighed are: (1) the harm to the applicant, (2) the harm to the respondent, (3) the likelihood of success on the merits, and (4) the public interest. As explained above, the court does not believe that any irreparable harm will be suffered by the applicant since the injunction as been denied. As a result, the other three factors need not be considered in evaluating the request for this particular injunction.

Although counsel for the respondent did present arguments about the standard of evaluation established by Brandeis WBRS and Archon Yearbook v. Debate Society (UJ 02-3,) the arguments were not taken under consideration by the Union Judiciary, as an absence of irreparable harm was adequately demonstrated by respondent, thus rendering the need to evaluate such arguments null. As a result, the Union Judiciary has passed no evaluative judgment on the precise standard established by Archon, although it will entertain such arguments in the event of a hearing on the merits of Mr. Frieds appeal. With regards to such an appeal, the court has prepared a scheduling order for those proceedings. It is issued below, with the understanding that such action will only take place should the amendment pass and should Mr. Fried additionally decide to continue with the matter in question.