Cornell University: Heckler’s Veto Prevents Ann Coulter From Speaking


Cornell University

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Case Overview

On November 9, 2022, student protesters at Cornell University disrupted a student group-sponsored speaking engagement featuring conservative pundit Ann Coulter, shutting down the event after just 30 minutes. Prior to the event, flyers circulated the campus calling on the university to prevent Coulter from speaking, but Cornell declined, standing by its promise to protect free expression. During the event, protestors played loud music, shouted, and chanted, preventing Coulter from speaking and those in the audience from listening.  The university removed the disrupters individually, but the event ended abruptly after the disruptions continued and Coulter herself walked out. On November 10, FIRE called for Cornell to take further action by educating its students about what speech is protected under the university’s free speech policies and First Amendment standards, and what speech is not — including the heckler’s veto — to help prevent students from substantially disrupting future events.