On Oct. 24, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in a lawsuit filed in March as part of FIRE’s Million Voices Campaign against administrators and trustees of Los Angeles Pierce College and the Los Angeles Community College District. The lawsuit was filed by FIRE attorneys in partnership with Arthur Willner, a partner at Leader & Berkon LLP, who is co-counsel with FIRE in the case. In addition to challenging Pierce College’s unconstitutional free speech zone and permit requirement, the lawsuit also challenges an LACCD policy that requires the president of each LACCD college to designate at least one free speech zone on their campus.
Below is a statement from Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon, FIRE’s director of litigation. More information, including courtesy photos and attorney sound bites, are available in FIRE’s March 28 press release.
FIRE is grateful for the Department of Justice’s decision to file a statement of interest in our lawsuit challenging the unconstitutional policies and practices of Pierce College and the Los Angeles Community College District. As the Department of Justice rightly recognizes, these policies severely restrict the expressive rights of all students on each of the nine District campuses. We cannot allow the First Amendment rights that Kevin Shaw and his fellow students possess to be taken away by administrative fiat.
—FIRE Director of Litigation Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon