Joliet Junior College — Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Joliet Junior College

On November 28, 2017, after seeing members of a conservative student group distributing anti-socialism materials on campus, Salazar decided to provide an alternate viewpoint by distributing flyers from the Party for Socialism and Liberation that read “Shut Down Capitalism.” Salazar was reported to the campus police, who confronted her, told her she shouldn’t hand out the flyers because of the “political climate of the country,” and then detained her. In the campus police station, she was interrogated and told she could not distribute flyers without permission from the college.

JJC’s policies restrict student expressive activity to one small, indoor free speech zone, require students to request use of the area five business days in advance, require students to disclose the purpose of their speech, allow for only two people to use the area at a time, and require students to remain behind a table. If a student wants to distribute literature while in the area, he or she also has to get the materials approved by administrators ahead of time.

On January 11, 2018, Salazar filed a lawsuit challenging the JJC policies that restrict students’ ability to engage in expressive activity, and her detention by JJC’s police officers. Salazar is represented by former president of the First Amendment Lawyers Association Wayne Giampietro of Poltrock & Giampietro, and FIRE attorneys Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon and Brynne S. Madway.