Newsbriefs you may have missed: 7. Not in my court

7. College Grads barred.

Dr. Peter Zenger, Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court, issued an order today barring recent college graduates from serving on juries in the state.  Zenger cited a recent study by New York Sociologist, Richard Arum that found large numbers of college graduates “didn’t learn critical thinking.”  Zenger went on to say that since, “the evidence is overwhelming that these graduates cannot sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument, or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event, we cannot allow them to judge trial evidence.”  The executive order will bar anyone who attended college after the Presidential Inauguration in 2000, from jury duty.  The justices, while agreeing that this cut-off was somewhat arbitrary, thought the year 2000 and the Presidency of George W. Bush was reasonable from a historical point of view.

Marvin Hamlich, Professor of Educational Economics at the University of Michigan, was quick to argue that this will make obtaining a college education more attractive.  “It essentially provides a get-out-of-jail card for prospective jurors—they will never have to serve, and that frankly is a huge benefit for anyone considering a college education.”  Milton Friedman, a legal scholar with the firm, I’m Innocent, You’re Innocent, felt that it would prove hard to convict the college educated of anything.  “We are talking here about people who have no critical judgment.” How can they be kept accountable for anything?”

Ellen Roberts, self-styled spokesperson for College Forever, a group promoting six, seven and even eight year undergraduate programs, would only add, “Whatever.”

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