FIRE statement on Office for Civil Rights’ use of ‘anti-Semitism’ definition

September 12, 2018

FIRE is deeply disappointed by the decision of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to reopen an investigation into a 2011 complaint against Rutgers University utilizing a definition of anti-Semitism that threatens speech protected by the First Amendment. The definition’s inherent vagueness allows for the investigation and punishment of core political speech. This is an unacceptable result.

FIRE has clearly and consistently opposed the use of this problematic definition in both university policy and legislation at the state and federal level. We do so again today.