Trinity University: Administrators Require Student-Invited Speaker to Purchase Liability Insurance for Speaking Appearance Because of Her Last Name


Trinity University

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Case Overview


On March 3, 2023, Speech First Executive Director Cherise Trump spoke at Trinity University at the invitation of the campus chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas. As a condition, Trinity required Trump to purchase liability insurance — because it feared there could be controversy or protests because of her views or because she has the same last name of former President Donald Trump. FIRE wrote Trinity on March 3, explaining that such viewpoint-based burdens on speakers violate the university’s strong commitment to protect students’ expressive rights. Trinity responded on March 6 that insurance was required because the student organizers indicated a risk of disruption associated with the event. FIRE wrote the university again March 15 explaining that requiring speakers to pay insurance fees for expected disruptions violates the university’s promises of free expression.