University Students Sue for Right to Distribute Copies of the Constitution on Campus

April 25, 2014

By Richard Berkow at BizPac Review

That pesky First Amendment keeps getting in the way of people who want to trample it.

At the University of Hawaii, Hilo, two students were prevented from distributing copies of the Constitution – that wretched document guaranteeing freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and stuff like that – and now they’re suing the university, reason.com reports.

Merritt Burch, president of the Young Americans for Liberty chapter at UH, and Anthony Vizzone, another member, were stopped by school officials on a campus information day, because, instead of staying behind their outdoor table, they joined others in walking around to distribute copies of America’s most treasured document. The administrators ordered them to stop violating a school rule by approaching students, dismissing the First Amendment out of hand.

“This isn’t really the 60s anymore” Burch and Vizzone said they were told, according to reason.com. ”People can’t really protest like that anymore.”

Instead, university officials told the pair to go to “the free speech zone,” a muddy plot on the periphery of campus.

Aspiring defenders of the U.S. Constitution do not take this lying down, so these two students engaged attorneys from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and filed suit in federal court on Thursday. They are seeking injunctive relief, the right to distribute literature on campus, a revision of the policy, dismissal of the so-called “free speech zone,” and attorneys’ fees.

As King George III learned the hard way, you don’t mess around with uppity young Americans.

Schools: University of Hawaii at Hilo Cases: University of Hawaii at Hilo – Speech Code Litigation