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First Amendment Library:
Susan K. Ullman


The University of Wisconsin, Madison required students to pay an activity fee that supported “various campus services and extracurricular student activities,” including diverse ideological and political expression. Three University of Wisconsin law students challenged the fee system in 1996 as unconstitutional. The three Christian students contended that by funneling their money to groups they morally oppose, the university violates their freedom of speech and religious liberty. Both a federal district court and a federal appeals court ruled that the fee system violated the students’ free speech rights.