In a true "dog bites man" story for those who follow FIRE or are conversant with the First Amendment, the Associated Press is reporting that a federal judge has ordered the University of Wyoming to allow University of Illinois-Chicago professor and former Weather Underground leader William Ayers to speak on its Laramie campus. FIRE has been pointing out the inevitability of this development for some time, and just this afternoon noted that things weren’t looking so good for the university’s effort at censorship once the judge had told the university president in yesterday’s hearing that threats of violence do not justify blocking someone from speaking on campus.
FIRE is pleased by this development. As is usual when the courts get involved, the message to the University of Wyoming and all other universities that would censor controversial speakers is this: Don’t bother. You will fail. And please stop wasting taxpayer and tuition money on making losing arguments that are never going to pass muster in a court of law.
Schools: University of Wyoming