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Mangling First Amendment, Federal District Judge in Maryland Makes Challenging Unconstitutional Speech Codes Unreasonably Difficult

By January 29, 2009

In a poorly reasoned decision handed down this week, a federal district court in the Fourth Circuit dismissed parts of a First Amendment complaint against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, two UMBC students and the UMBC pro-life student group Rock for Life filed a federal complaint alleging that UMBC's sexual harassment policy, code of conduct and policy on facility use violated the First Amendment. Instead of addressing the constitutionality of the policies, the judge dismissed two of the allegations on the grounds that the students lacked standing to sue...