Rights in the News: Third Circuit Ruling Yet Another Victory for Student Free Speech

By August 20, 2010

For the second time in the past two years, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has decisively ruled in favor of free speech and against the purveyors of speech codes in our nation’s universities. In a ruling that deepens and expands the Third Circuit’s prior ruling in DeJohn v. Temple University, 537 F.3d 301 (3d Cir. 2008) in several important respects (as Erica noted in depth earlier), the court invalidated key portions of the University of the Virgin Islands’ speech codes–a major victory for free speech rights. Read more about this ruling–also briefly discussed at The Volokh Conspiracy, as well as the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed–here in the coming days as the higher education and legal communities ponder this latest strike against speech codes.

In the continuing debate over the less-welcome ruling in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Heartland Institute has made a welcome contribution, informed largely by a podcast interview with FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. You can read it here.

Finally, as we blogged earlier, The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi) has tackled Isaac Rosenbloom’s case at Hinds Community College in Mississippi yet again, in an article that turns its focus to the speech codes in the state of Mississippi as a whole. (Spoiler: they don’t do well). It’s a welcome bit of sunlight as Mississippi students get ready to hit the books for another semester.