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Thomas V. Petros letter: Kasper's concern raises questions

Recently the University of North Dakota Law School's Clinical Education Program has received a considerable degree of attention in the media over its decision to represent a group suing the city of Fargo over a Ten Commandments display in the Far...

Recently the University of North Dakota Law School's Clinical Education Program has received a considerable degree of attention in the media over its decision to represent a group suing the city of Fargo over a Ten Commandments display in the Fargo City Hall plaza. Much of the attention originated from state Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo, who requested an opinion from the state attorney general's office if two taxpayer-supported entities could be involved in a legal fight. The attorney general of North Dakota recently ruled that the school had the right to take on the case.

What I find troubling is that Kasper was quoted in the Grand Forks Herald Sept. 27, that "it appears that the law school is moving in a left-wing direction in the area of legal education." However, Kasper originally asserted that his concern was over two taxpayer-supported entities involved in a legal fight. Which is it, Rep. Kasper? Would you be as concerned if the law school was defending a right-wing cause?

In spite of the opinion rendered by the attorney general of North Dakota, Kasper was quoted declaring that he intended to discuss the matter with North Dakota University System Chancellor Larry Isaak.

Debate and disagreement about a controversial issue such as display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings is an important fabric of our daily lives and needs to be encouraged. What I find objectionable in this particular case is that a state legislator, with a finger on the purse strings, albeit a small purse in recent years, would take it upon himself, using the power of his political office to meddle in the curricular issues of professional educators who have trained many years to do the job that they are doing.

Thomas V. Petros

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Department of Psychology

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks

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