Free speech is at risk.
It’s a valid point. Why should taxpayers be forced to subsidize public universities that refuse to uphold constitutional principles like free speech?
David French writes at National Review:
It’s Time to Crush Campus Censorship
The courts have failed. The culture is failing. Unless Congress acts, we may lose not only free speech on college campuses, but free speech in America. In the memorable phrase of my friend, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education president Greg Lukianoff, college students are “unlearning liberty,” carrying the virus of censorship and oppression beyond the university and into the nation.
The courts are failing not because the underlying legal doctrines are flawed but because the remedies for censorship are completely inadequate. As of right now, there is a far greater financial incentive for a university to keep its sidewalks shoveled in the winter than to protect one of our nation’s founding liberties. If a student slips and breaks an arm, they stand to win much larger damages in court than a professor denied a promotion because of his speech or a student group thrown off campus merely because it’s Christian.
As it is, students and professors can launch exhausting legal cases, fight the university tooth-and-nail through years of depositions, motions, trials, and appeals, and at the end of the ordeal win an injunction and attorneys’ fees. In one memorable case, I fought a university for more than seven years and won a week-long jury trial, only for my client to be awarded a total (including attorneys’ fees) of far, far less than $1 million. Universities are some of the richest institutions in American life. These dollar amounts are utterly meaningless to their bottom lines.
It’s worth achieving individual justice in individual cases, but even the strongest precedent ends up providing only a minimal deterrent effect, especially when compared to the overwhelming cultural pressure for more censorship, more thought control, and less tolerance of even the most reasonable dissenting voices on campus.
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