“We agree the case is incredibly important and are weighing all our options, including petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case”
In case you haven’t already guessed, this is all about free speech.
The College Fix reports:
Lawsuit against Virginia Tech bias response team may land before Supreme Court
A recent federal court ruling siding with Virginia Tech’s bias response team has prompted center-right watchdogs to call for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case to protect free speech in higher education.
The controversy centers on a 2021 complaint from Speech First, a nonprofit committed to safeguarding freedom of speech on college campuses, which argued Virginia Tech’s Bias Intervention and Response Team policies and procedures infringe on students’ ability to speak freely about controversial issues.
Plaintiffs included conservative students who “censor what they say, hide their views on social or political issues, and avoid speaking up in the classroom because they know they can be reported by their peers to the University’s Bias Incident Response Team,” according to Speech First.
Cherise Trump, Speech First’s executive director, said she is not opposed to taking her fight to the top of the justice system.
“We agree the case is incredibly important and are weighing all our options, including petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case,” Trump recently told The College Fix in an email.
On May 31, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, delivered a 2-1 decision that ruled in the college’s favor, stating in part “the First Amendment does not stand in the way of modest efforts to encourage civility on college campuses.
“…Although Virginia Tech clearly would prefer that its students engage in respectful discourse, the district court found no evidence that the University sought to pursue this goal through intimidation or threats.”
But Reagan-appointed U.S. Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III authored a 38-page dissenting opinion against the Bias Intervention and Response Team, or BIRT, heavily criticizing the majority’s rationale and arguing under the public institution’s policy “almost anything could be framed as a bias incident.”
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