“freedom of expression is ‘vital’ on campuses”
Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department have done more for free speech on campus in a few short months than the Obama administration did in eight years.
The Hill reports:
DOJ backs lawsuit alleging college violated free speech rights
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is weighing in on a lawsuit regarding so-called free speech zones on a California college campus.
In a sharply worded brief filed in a U.S. District Court on Tuesday, the DOJ argued that by corralling free speech in specified zones, Pierce College has violated its students’ First Amendment rights.
But the DOJ’s argument extends far beyond the Los Angeles community college. The brief warns of a larger epidemic of suppression of free speech and expression at colleges and universities across the country, and asserts the U.S. government’s need to protect “constitutional freedoms in institutions of higher learning.”
“Free speech has come under attack on campuses across the country,” the brief reads. “Such failure is of grave concern because freedom of expression is ‘vital’ on campuses.”
The lawsuit at Pierce College was filed earlier this year by Kevin Shaw, a student at the school who alleges that his right to free speech was violated when an administrator told him that he needed to move to a free speech zone while he was handing out Spanish-language copies of the Constitution on campus.
That free speech zone, according to court records, measured approximately 616 square feet — “approximately .003% of the total area of Pierce College’s 426 acres,” according to the DOJ.
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