Table of Contents

West Texas A&M President cancels student charity drag show for second time


Last week, West Texas A&M University President Walter Wendler told the Supreme Court that he was banning “any show, performance or artistic expression which denigrates others." 

Today President Wendler enforced his unconstitutional prior restraint by canceling a student-organized charity drag show for the second time. 

Our clients remain disappointed by Wendler’s admitted disregard for the First Amendment. But this fight is not over. The Fifth Circuit will hear oral arguments in the case next month. And FIRE will be there advocating for our clients and for the First Amendment freedoms of every public university student — no matter how they express themself.

This is the statement President Wendler sent to West Texas A&M University’s students, faculty, and staff:

To:         Faculty, Staff, and Students

From:    Walter V. Wendler, President

Date:     March 18, 2024

RE:          Spectrum WT Application for On-Campus Drag Show

Spectrum WT asked three courts to prevent the denial of their pending application to conduct an on-campus drag show. I did not rule on the application out of respect for the judicial process. On March 15th, a unanimous United States Supreme Court rejected the attempt to prevent another denial.

And so, the Spectrum WT application to conduct an on-campus drag show is denied for the reasons given previously and for the reasons further explained in court filings and those provided by the courts themselves.

Moreover, it is denied because S.B. 12 went into effect as a Texas law in September 2023, as well as a number of other compelling considerations.

When the court makes a final decision, it will be implemented.

Walter V. Wendler


Note: A federal court enjoined SB12 and declared it unconstitutional in September 2023. 

Recent Articles

FIRE’s award-winning Newsdesk covers the free speech news you need to stay informed.