‘Washington Times’ on College Speech Codes: ‘The Game is Up’

By August 13, 2008

“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit just made hundreds of colleges wonder how long their restrictive speech codes can survive,” begins a staff editorial assessing the significance of last week’s ruling in the case of DeJohn vs. Temple University in today’s issue of The Washington Times. The editorial goes on to assert that “[c]olleges and universities generally know the game is up.” While we at FIRE have been working to dismantle oppressive and unconstitutional speech codes for nearly ten years and know that the policies won’t go quickly or quietly, the DeJohn ruling is a major victory for free speech, and the Times rightly captures its significance when stating that universities “will have little plausible defense if they insist on speech codes as nebulous and facially unconstitutional as Temple’s.” FIRE-which submitted an amicus brief in support of the case in 2007 and whose research is mentioned in the editorial-is pleased to have such continued attention drawn to this important decision. Furthermore, the editorial cites the comprehensive efforts of FIRE’ Spotlight in exposing the widespread speech code abuses at colleges and universities across the United States. FIRE thanks the Times for bringing attention to the DeJohn ruling and to FIRE’s speech code efforts.

Schools: Temple University