Case Overview

With the assistance of FIRE Legal Network member Kevin King of Covington & Burling LLP and his team, FIRE filed an amicus curiae brief in March in support of a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski

This important case concerns a student challenge to a free speech zone at Georgia Gwinnett College. After the school unilaterally changed its policy and one plaintiff graduated, the district court dismissed as moot plaintiffs’ prospective injunctive claims as well as their nominal damages claims. The Eleventh Circuit upheld the dismissal, ruling that plaintiffs’ could not sustain their civil rights action based solely on a claim for nominal damages. 

FIRE wrote an amicus brief at the Eleventh Circuit and then in support of certiorari arguing that the Eleventh Circuit’s rule on nominal damage claims severely undermines students’ ability to vindicate their constitutional rights in court, given the many procedural hurdles students already face in bringing First Amendment claims.