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Enacted Campus Free Speech Statutes – Louisiana

US Capitol Building

In 2018, Louisiana enacted SB 364, now La. Stat. Ann. § 17:3399.31 through § 17:3399.37. In 2022, Louisiana enacted HB 185.

SB 364 Summary

SB 364 is a bill that prohibits public colleges and universities from quarantining student expression to misleadingly labeled “free speech zones” and provides protections for belief-based student organizations.

Key Provisions

  • Prohibits public institutions of higher education from quarantining speech to “free speech zones”;
  • Ensures that belief-based organizations are not discriminated against based on any requirement that the leaders or members of the organization affirm the organization’s sincerely-held beliefs and complies with the organization’s standards of conduct; and
  • Requires public colleges and universities to annually submit a report to the legislature and governor regarding any “barriers to or incidents against free expression” that occurred at the institution.

FIRE Commentary

Louisiana governor signs campus free speech bill into law; law needs technical improvement

HB 185 Summary

House Bill 185 defines student on student harassment in a manner consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s definition provided in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education. It also clarifies the standard to be used by institutions of higher education for determining permissible “time, place, and manner” restrictions and requires that institutions use content- and viewpoint-neutral criteria for assessing event reservation permits and any security fees as part of the permits.

Key Provisions

  • Clarifies the standard for determining permissible “time, place, and manner” restrictions to ensure it complies with U.S. Supreme Court caselaw.
  • Defines student-on-student harassment consistent with the definition provided by the Supreme Court of the United States in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education.
  • Requires institutions that require permits for individuals or groups to reserve locations for events to evaluate applications for permits based only on published content- and viewpoint-neutral criteria.
  • Requires institutions to use content- and view-point neutral criteria for assessing security fees for events.

FIRE Commentary

Callin’ Baton Rouge: New Louisiana laws protect student free speech and due process rights