“prompt students to limit their speech out of fear that they might be subject to disciplinary sanction”
The Justice Department seems to be taking on a greater role in the battle for free speech on college campuses, which is great.
Campus Reform reports:
DOJ backs free speech watchdog in lawsuit against UMich
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a statement of interest in a lawsuit challenging the University of Michigan’s controversial speech code policies.
The DOJ announced the move in a press release Monday, summarizing the facts of the case and explaining the government’s position on campus free speech.
As previously reported by Campus Reform, the school’s broad disciplinary code attracted attention from a free speech watchdog, Speech First, that sued the university over its “highly subjective” policies earlier this year.
“Speech First alleges that the University of Michigan’s policies on ‘harassment,’ ‘bullying,’ and ‘bias’ are so vague and overbroad as to prompt students to limit their speech out of fear that they might be subject to disciplinary sanction, including ‘individual education’ or ‘restorative justice’ at the hands of the University’s Bias Response Team,” the DOJ said in a statement.
“The United States’ Statement of Interest argues that the University of Michigan’s Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which prohibits ‘harassment,’ ‘bullying,’ and ‘bias,’ is unconstitutional because it offers no clear, objective definitions of the violations,” the department continued. “Instead, the Statement refers students to a wide array of ‘examples of various interpretations that exist for the terms,’ many of which depend on a listener’s subjective reaction to speech.”
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