Campus Speech

U.S. President Donald Trump shows an executive order linking "free speech" efforts at public universities to federal grants during a signing ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

As Promised, Trump Signs Contentious Executive Order on Campus Free Speech

President Trump vowed to sign an executive order requiring American colleges and universities to protect free speech on campus, and would withhold federal research funds from schools that don’t comply.

“Today, I am proud to announce that I will be very soon be signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research funds,” Trump said in his remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC.

March 21, 2019 Campus Speech, Top Stories
People gather on Bancroft Way during a demonstration against a planned speech by conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California, U.S. September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Settlement Reached In UC Berkeley On-Campus Speaker Policy Suit

December 3, 2018: Both Sides Are Touting the Settlement as a Win UC Berkeley and conservative groups Young America’s Foundation and Berkeley College Republicans have reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the groups against the university, claiming discriminatory practices that silenced conservative speakers on campus. Under the terms of the settlement, the university must make changes to its[Read More…]

December 10, 2018 Below the Fold, Campus Speech
Josephine Meckseper Flag. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Creative Time.

Flag Art Installation At University of Kansas Did Not Sit Well With All Stripes, Including Governor

July 12, 2018: University of Kansas Removes Art Installation Of Altered U.S. Flag, Amid Criticism The University of Kansas removed an altered U.S. flag that was flying on campus as part of an art exhibit amid criticism from politicians, including the state’s governor. The flag, called “Untitled (Flag 2)” was part of the nationwide public art project “Pledges of Allegiance.” This flag was[Read More…]

Wisconsin High Court Sides With Professor In Academic Freedom Case

Wisconsin High Court Sides With Professor In Academic Freedom Case

July 6, 2018: Court Rules That Marquette University Breached Contract When Firing Professor Over Blog Post In a much awaited decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Marquette University breached its contract with a former professor after he lost his job over a critical blog post in which he wrote about how an instructor and graduate student handled a classroom[Read More…]

Heterodox Academy Hosts Inaugural Open Mind Conference

Heterodox Academy Hosts Inaugural Open Mind Conference

June 15, 2018: Increasing Viewpoint Diversity On Campus: HxA Explores How It Can Be Done At Inaugural Conference Heterodox Academy hosted its inaugural Open Mind Conference last week at TheTimesCenter in New York. Heterodox Academy is a membership association of professors whose mission is “to improve the quality of research and education in universities by increasing viewpoint diversity, mutual understanding,[Read More…]

June 22, 2018 Campus Speech, Censorship, Top Stories
Classes Are Over But The Campus Free Speech Debate Still Rages

Classes Are Over But The Campus Free Speech Debate Still Rages

U.S. campuses have been hotbeds of political and social debate since the colonial era. By the 1960s, rising civil unrest bouyed 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?

June 14, 2018 Campus Speech, Speech
University of Michigan Clarifies Speech Codes On Same Day DOJ Declares Opposition

University of Michigan Clarifies Speech Codes On Same Day DOJ Declares Opposition

June 15, 2018: UM Asks Judge To Dismiss Suit Calling It “False Caricature” UM argues that the lawsuit against them is moot because they tightened their speech codes and because their policies have been mischaracterized.   June 11, 2018: Feds File “Statement Of Interest” In Case Arguing UM’s Speech Codes Are Unconstitutional  The Department of Justice filed a “Statement of[Read More…]

June 11, 2018 Campus Speech, Speech, Top Stories
First Amendment Watch Co-Sponsors Talk On “Free Speech on Campus and Academic Freedom in the Trump Era”

First Amendment Watch Co-Sponsors 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 sponsored 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,” addressed important First Amendment issues facing educators and students. Click through for Facebook Live videos of the event.

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