“It would prevent “heckler’s vetoes”
We already have a bill for this… the Bill of Rights. Why does it take a special law for universities in Ohio to respect free speech?
The College Fix reports:
Ohio bill would block universities from disinviting controversial speakers
A pair of Republican state lawmakers in Ohio seek to block university officials from disinviting speakers based on any potential negative reactions or protests the guests might prompt.
It’s one aspect of a Campus Free Speech Act that also aims to eliminate so-called free speech zones in an attempt to open up First Amendment activities campuswide.
Republican Reps. Wesley Goodman and Andrew Brenner announced the act in a press conference Tuesday at the Ohio statehouse. The lawmakers seek to protect the First Amendment rights of students at public universities across the state as well as promote and protect intellectual diversity.
The act, expected to be introduced in the Ohio House in coming weeks, aims to prohibit administrators from taking action “that limits or chills the expression of any member of the campus community or their invited guests based on the content of the expression,” according to a news release from Goodman.
It would prevent “heckler’s vetoes” by “prohibiting universities from disinviting speakers based on the potential reaction, opposition, offense, or irritation taken to that speaker’s expression,” it adds.
“Americans are growing increasingly concerned about the level of openness of debate on Ohio’s college campuses,” Rep. Goodman told The College Fix via e-mail. “People can only be truly free if they are allowed to think and speak their deeply held beliefs freely.”
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