Campus Speech

Joey Gibson, Patriot Prayer

Can Universities Charge Security Fees to Campus Groups for Hosting Controversial Speakers?

When University of Washington College Republicans invited conservative activist Joey Gibson to speak on campus, they did not expect to be charged with a $17,000 security fee to ensure that the rally would not get out of hand. The College Republicans sued to proceed with the event which led to clashes, counter protests and several arrests. A letter penned by Professor Eric Schnapper and endorsed by 22 others makes a First Amendment case to protect the right of the College Republicans and other similar groups. University of Washington law professor and Concurring Opinions writer Ronald K.L. Collins states, “the UW Law letter provides an informative guide to much of the existing law concerning free speech rights and security fees. In that regard, it should be useful to college administrators, lawyers representing colleges, lawyers representing students and speakers, and to student organizations in general, among others.”

April 19, 2018 Campus Speech, Top Stories
Screenshot from video taken at Professor Josh Blackman talk at CUNY Law

Conservative Speaker Heckled at CUNY Law Raising Campus Speech Concerns

Recently CUNY Law students shouted down Professor Josh Blackman causing debate among First Amendment scholars. In our Spotlight on campus speech, “Lessons from Berkeley on Campus Free Speech” we discuss how U.S. campuses have been hotbeds of political and social debate since the colonial era. By the 1960s, rising civil unrest buoyed the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley. As protests spread, universities and law enforcement cracked down leading to fatalities in separate incidents at Kent State University and Jackson State University. Today campus protests are once again eliciting an escalated police presence. Both public and private universities are struggling how to balance the free exchange of ideas, but public universities have a legal obligation to protect campus freedom of expression. What does this mean for students, campus free speech and speaker’s right to free speech when it is suppressed by the fear of disruption?

April 13, 2018 Campus Speech, Top Stories
First Amendment Watch To Co-Sponsor Talk On “Free Speech on Campus and Academic Freedom in the Trump Era”

First Amendment Watch To Co-Sponsor Talk On “Free Speech on Campus and Academic Freedom in the Trump Era”

First Amendment Watch in collaboration with  NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New-York Historical Society and the Institute for Constitutional History will sponsor a talk for NYC educators by Robert Post, First Amendment scholar and former dean of Yale Law School. The topic, “Free Speech on Campus and Academic Freedom in the Trump Era,” will address important First Amendment issues facing educators and students. The talk will be held in  NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, East Building (239 Greene Street), 3rd floor, on Monday, April 30, 4:30-6:15. Interested Educators please contact Robert Cohen (rpc6@nyu.edu) for more information about the event.

April 13, 2018 Below the Fold, Campus Speech
What is the State of Academic Freedom As More Professors Face Increasing Backlash?

What is the State of Academic Freedom As More Professors Face Increasing Backlash?

April 4, 2018: What Free Speech Rights Do Professors Have to Speak Without Retaliation? An NPR report finds that “across the country, in the past year and a half, at least 250 university professors…have been targeted via online campaigns because of their research, their teaching or their social media posts.” In an highly charged political environment, professors find that retaliation[Read More…]

April 5, 2018 Campus Speech, Speech, Top Stories
Lessons from Berkeley on Campus Free Speech

Lessons from Berkeley on Campus Free Speech

Free-speech watchdog FIRE’s mission is more important than ever on the nation’s college campuses.

March 31, 2018 Below the Fold, Campus Speech, Speech
New Survey Finds First Amendment Challenges on College Campuses

New Survey Finds First Amendment Challenges on College Campuses

March 12, 2018: Can a New Generation Redefine the Meaning of the First Amendment? Gallup, the Knight Foundation, the American Council on Education, Charles Koch Institute and the Stanton Foundation worked together to update a 2016 landmark survey of college students and their thoughts on their First Amendment freedoms. Topics included: “whether college students ever consider violence or shouting down[Read More…]

March 12, 2018 Campus Speech, Top Stories
Efforts to Protect College Media From Suppression Gain Traction

Efforts to Protect College Media From Suppression Gain Traction

December 2017: Review of Efforts in 2017 to Protect Student Presses  College Media Association President Chris Evans reviews efforts over the past year to ensure college press freedom. A 2016 report sponsored by the American Association of University Professors, the College Media Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and the Student Press Law Center had found threats increasing to independent[Read More…]

December 28, 2017 Campus Speech, Top Stories
Authors Share Excerpts on Free Speech: Erwin Chemerinsky & Howard Gillman and Free Speech on Campus

Authors Share Excerpts on Free Speech: Erwin Chemerinsky & Howard Gillman and Free Speech on Campus

Free Speech on Campus “provides the background necessary to understanding the importance of free speech on campus and offers clear prescriptions for what colleges can and can’t do when dealing with free speech controversies.” – Yale University Press Erwin Chemerinsky became the 13th Dean of Berkeley Law on July 1, 2017, when he joined the faculty as the Jesse H. Choper[Read More…]

Senate Hearing on “Exploring Free Speech on College Campuses”

Senate Hearing on “Exploring Free Speech on College Campuses”

A FIRE summary states that “Providing testimony before the committee were Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago; Nadine Strossen, New York Law School professor, former president of the ACLU, and current member of FIRE’s Advisory Council; Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center; and Allison Stanger, the Middlebury College professor injured in a violent campus protest in March.”

Free Speech Defender? Attorney General Enters Campus Free Speech Debate

Free Speech Defender? Attorney General Enters Campus Free Speech Debate

At an invitation-only event at Georgetown University law school, Attorney General Jeff Sessions jumped into the debate over campus speech by stating that the First Amendment had suffered from “political correctness and homogeneous thought” and that “a national recommitment to free speech on campus” was needed. While some applauded the administration’s commitment to free speech, protestors rallied against attacks on the First Amendment by the administration.

September 27, 2017 Campus Speech, Top Stories