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Court Denies College’s Attempt to Dismiss Student’s Free Speech Case

Court Denies College’s Attempt to Dismiss Student’s Free Speech Case

“The court’s ruling sends an important message to colleges nationwide”

This is another case where a student was reprimanded for handing out copies of the constitution on camus. Then FIRE got involved.

From the FIRE website:

Court rejects Pierce College’s attempt to dismiss lawsuit against its tiny ‘free speech zone’

In an order issued yesterday, a federal district court denied Los Angeles Community College District and Pierce College administrators’ motion to dismiss student Kevin Shaw’s First Amendment lawsuit. Finding that the open spaces of public colleges like Pierce College are traditional public forums — “regardless of Pierce’s regulations” — the court rejected the school’s argument that its tiny “free speech area” was constitutional.

On March 28 of last year, student Kevin Shaw and attorneys from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education filed a lawsuit against administrators at LACCD and Pierce College after Shaw was told he could not hand out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution on behalf of Young Americans for Liberty outside the college’s tiny free speech zone, which comprises just .003 percent of the campus. Pierce College is one of nine schools in the LACCD, which serves over 150,000 students and is the largest community college district in the United States.

“The court’s ruling sends an important message to colleges nationwide that still restrict student speech to free speech zones,” said FIRE Director of Litigation Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon. “The campus is a college student’s public square. It’s their space to be engaged citizens. The public recognizes this. So do courts across the country. Now it’s time for LACCD to follow suit.”

In October, the Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in Shaw’s case, arguing that Shaw successfully alleged First Amendment violations.


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These administrators and academics verge on insanity.

I’m pleased to report that at the community college where I work, the student life staff itself hands out copies of the Constitution on Constitution Day, and they usually run out by 11 a.m.