Professor Josh Blackman protest

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?

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