Obama admin. seeks to take unconstitutional college speech codes nationwide
Monday, June 17, 2013
“Students should be able to speak freely about issues such as race, gender, religion and politics without fearing retribution,” said Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “While we condemn actual harassment, which has a clear legal definition, this anti-harassment blueprint is nothing less than a vague and broadly defined speech code that will end up prohibiting speech the First Amendment protects.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom coalition letter explains that the agreement’s ban on “unwelcome speech” is “so undefined that students, let alone administrators charged with its enforcement will differ as what constitutes a violation. This leaves universities with the enormous, and unbridled, administrative burden of policing what is and is not actionable harassment. Free speech will suffer in the end.”
The letter also explains that courts have uniformly rejected campus speech codes since their inception in the 1980s. These codes “tend to become weapons of the dominant political culture, wielded against dissenters in an effort to replace the ‘marketplace of ideas’ with an ideological monopoly.”
Young America’s Foundation, National Association of Scholars, Students for Life of America, Ratio Christi, Campus Bible Fellowship International, Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, and Beta Upsilon Chi all signed the coalition letter.
Alliance Defending Freedom sent a similar coalition letter to the University of Montana that explains how the agreement violates the constitutional freedoms of students. Patrick Flaherty, one of more than 2,300 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, assisted with the letter.
“Free, spontaneous discourse on college campuses is supposed to be a hallmark of higher education rather than the exception to the rule,” added Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The policies of the Department of Justice and the Department of Education should always allow students to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.”
- “Speak Up” University website
- Pronunciation guide: Theriot (TAIR’-ee-oh)
- Illegal flirting? Feds revisit ‘sex harassment’ (wnd.com)
- Feds define unwanted date requests as harassment (wnd.com)
- Free Speech Under Fire (freebeacon.com)
- Federal Government Mandates Unconstitutional Speech Codes at Colleges and Universities Nationwide (thefire.org)
Posted on June 17, 2013, in education and tagged Colleges, Free Speech, National Association of Scholars, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Justice, University of Montana. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.