Young Americans for Liberty Brings Free Speech Case to Alabama Supreme Court
“The bureaucrats in the University of Alabama system have made it clear that they view their students’ rights to free expression as secondary to their own desire for control”
It’s truly remarkable that in a country with guaranteed free speech rights, this is an ongoing issue on college campuses.
Alabama Supreme Court hears Young Americans for Liberty college student free speech case
A campus free speech case brought by a conservative student group at the University of Alabama at Huntsville was heard before the Alabama Supreme Court Thursday.
The case is the first challenge brought under a 2019 state law that prohibits university policies from restricting “spontaneous speech” and from limiting speech activities to specific areas of campus.
In July 2021, the UAH Young Americans for Liberty chapter and student member Joshua Greer filed a lawsuit against the university and UA System, claiming that its new campus speech policy was in violation of state law.
“The bureaucrats in the University of Alabama system have made it clear that they view their students’ rights to free expression as secondary to their own desire for control,” JP Kirby, director of Student Rights at YAL, said in a statement Wednesday.
The university’s grounds use policy, created in 2020 and revised in Sept. 2021, enforces some speech restrictions that it says are “viewpoint neutral” and are designed to prevent disruption on campus.
The school requires students to obtain a permit no less than three days in advance if they wish to organize an event on university grounds. It also defines specific areas of campus where protests or other demonstrations may be held without advance approval – but only if the activity doesn’t disrupt teaching and learning.
According to court filings, Greer had never claimed to have actually been stopped from protesting on campus, but YAL members feared being disciplined individually or as a group if they violated the policy.
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There is, unfortunately, an unresolvable conflict between constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and the implied property right of students to receive the education services they’ve paid for without disruption by violent loons.
The solution, as always, is to get the state the hell out of post-secondary education entirely and allow universities to reconstitute themselves as private entities not bound by the First Amendment. The fallacy that universities are objective can go the way of the fallacy that broadcast news is objective, and we can return to the days of print journalism where newspapers and universities wore their biases clearly on their sleeves and consumers made their choices appropriately.
America seems to have forgotten that there are ways to demonstrate non-disruptively.
It’s as simple as understanding the difference between manning a picket line, and roughing up people who cross a picket line.
Just because over the last four decades the left has made disruption and violence integral components of their demonstrations doesn’t mean they need to be.
Is there something wrong with a policy that doesn’t allow students to disrupt a class for MUH PROTESS?
I’m missing it here. Most of the problems at universities right now are not within policy but in the uneven enforcements of those policies based on race and protected political interests.