It’s surprising that any university would take such a hard line on this issue today.

The College Fix reported:

Iowa State pays $343,000 for censoring pro-marijuana students – and it’s on the hook for ‘substantially’ more

It’s hard to think of a university that’s had a worse few years in court regarding a First Amendment dispute than Iowa State.

It was slapped down for refusing to let a pro-marijuana student group use the university’s name on its club T-shirt (which included a pot leaf), when it let every other student group use its trademarks on their club gear.

Last year a federal appeals court confirmed that individual university officials could be held personally liable for violating the “clearly established” constitutional rights of students.

Now Iowa taxpayers are finally footing the bill for the university’s litigation adventures – and they’re going to pay even more later.

Courthouse News Service reports Iowa State is paying the plaintiffs and their lawyers $343,260 just for the appellate portion of the lawsuit:

The State Appeal Board last week agreed to pay $75,000 apiece to the two students who sued — Paul Gerlich and Erin Furleigh — plus $178,826 to Davis Wright Tremaine and $14,434 to Faegre Baker Daniels, in Des Moines.

The legal fees are for the law firms’ appellate work. Legal fees for their work at the trial level will be determined on remand by Judge [James] Gritzner. Those fees are expected to be substantially higher than the appellate fees.