Campus Speech

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
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
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.”