In July 2020, Auburn University lecturer Jesse Goldberg tweeted in response to a video of plainclothes police officers detaining a protester using an unmarked van: “This is kidnapping. Fuck every single cop.” Goldberg’s social media commentary regarding the abolition of police drew criticism from Donald Trump, Jr., and calls for Goldberg’s termination by Alabama state legislator Rep. Brett Easterbrook. Auburn told media outlets it was “considering options” concerning Goldberg. FIRE wrote to Auburn on August 3, explaining that Goldberg’s extramural remarks were protected by the First Amendment, state law, and university policy. Auburn responded to FIRE, pledging that it would not infringe on Goldberg’s First Amendment rights.
FIRE Case Files