Campus Speech

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

Patriot prayer
Joey Gibson, Patriot Prayer

“The protections of the First Amendment are not limited to liberals, or conservatives, or people with good ideas. The principle at issue here is not a new one. Time and again, during the difficult days of the civil rights movement, the courts held that the government cannot limit or burden speech because it is likely to provoke others to attack a speaker or his or her supporters. It was that principle that protected James Edwards when he marched to the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, the Reverend B. Elton Cox when he marched to the state capitol in Baton Rouge Louisiana, John Lewis when he marched to Montgomery, Alabama, Dick Gregory when he marched to the home of Mayor Daley in Chicago Illinois, and Charles Evers and Henry Aaron when they wanted to speak at the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State. However much Mr. Gibson’s views may differ from those of the civil rights heroes who established this principle, the College Republicans are entitled to invoke that same principle when he speaks at the University of Washington.” 

UW Law Professors’ Letter 

Concurring Opinions>
February 2018: University of Washington Sued For Charging Student Group for Event Security

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.

Seattle Weekly> Seattle Times> Seattle Times> Complaint>