NOTE: The article excerpted on this page is from an outside publication and is posted on FIRE's website because it references FIRE's work. The viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily represent FIRE's positions.
By William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection
Almost daily we report here and at College Insurrection on the almost insane application of campus speech codes, frequently utilized disproportionately against non-politically correct (i.e. conservative) students and groups.
Speech codes are closely related to other forms of campus oppression, like the stripping of due process rights for men accused under vague and overly-broad definitions of sexual assault and subjected to kangaroo courts.
It all part of enforcing compliance with a dominant campus ideology (almost always progressive and radical feminist).
Our friends at The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) have led the fight against speech codes for years, and today they announced a major litigation effort:
This morning, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) coordinated the filing of lawsuits against Ohio University, Chicago State University, Iowa State University, and Citrus College (Calif.). The filings launch FIRE’s new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, a national effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes through targeted First Amendment lawsuits. The project and lawsuits were announced today at a press conference at the National Press Club.
The Stand Up for Speech Litigation Project is described as follows:
FIRE’s new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project is a national effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes through targeted First Amendment lawsuits. By imposing a real cost for violating First Amendment rights, the Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project intends to reset the incentives that currently push colleges towards censoring student and faculty speech. Lawsuits will be filed against public colleges maintaining unconstitutional speech codes in each federal circuit. After each victory by ruling or settlement, FIRE will target another school in the same circuit—sending a message that unless public colleges obey the law, they will be sued.
How insane are campus speech codes?
When a student is threatened with discipline for handing out copies of the Constitution, you know something is very, very rotten in the State of Campus Speech.
Schools: Ohio University Chicago State University Citrus College Iowa State University Cases: FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project Citrus College – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit Chicago State University – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit Iowa State University – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit Ohio University – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit