PHILADELPHIA, January 4, 2005—Today the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education celebrates the release of its flagship publication, FIRE's Guide to Free Speech on Campus. Legal scholars from across the political spectrum have hailed the new Guide as an invaluable resource for students. Edwin Meese, U.S. Attorney General during the Reagan Administration, called the Guide to Free Speech on Campus "a welcome and essential part of the effort to defend, preserve, and expand liberty and rights on our nation's campuses," while Nadine Strossen, President of the ACLU, declared it "both enlightening and empowering. It should inspire students and faculty 'to defend freedom of speech for every member of the campus community.'" Read FIRE's Guide to Free Speech on Campus at thefireguides.org.
Written by FIRE President David A. French, FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Greg Lukianoff, and FIRE Co-Founder and Director Harvey A. Silverglate, the Guide explores the philosophy and history behind our modern understanding of free speech, discusses the development of law regarding free speech and the First Amendment, and elaborates on the moral and practical values that form the foundations of liberty. Perhaps most importantly, the Guide equips students with the rhetorical and legal tools to stand up for their rights. The Guide relies on examples from many of FIRE's successful defenses of liberty to let students know that they can fight and win battles with university administrators. As Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School noted, "This is a useful bible for anyone faced with college or university discipline for expressing controversial views. It tells the student where to turn when he or she feels isolated by an accusation."
A distinguished group of legal scholars, selected from across the political and ideological spectrum, serves as the Board of Editors to all of FIRE's Guides and advises FIRE on each of them. The political and philosophical diversity of the Board demonstrates that campus liberty is not a matter of partisan politics, but of the rights and responsibilities of free individuals in a free society. Besides Mr. Meese, Ms. Strossen, and Mr. Dershowitz, the Board of Editors includes noted constitutional scholars Vivian Berger, T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr., Roger Pilon, Jamin Raskin, and Paul McMasters.
FIRE's Guide to Free Speech on Campus is the fourth in FIRE's series of Guides to Student Rights on Campus, which also includes FIRE's Guide to Due Process and Fair Procedure on Campus, Guide to Student Fees, Funding, and Legal Equality on Campus, and Guide to Religious Liberty on Campus. A fifth volume, FIRE's Guide to First-Year Orientation and Thought Reform on Campus, will be released next year. Paperback copies of all of the Guides are available to college students free of charge and to the general public at a nominal cost through thefireguides.org. Electronic editions are also available for free download in PDF format at thefireguides.org.
FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation's colleges and universities. FIRE's efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at thefire.org.