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College Republicans group lawsuit says SIUE restricts speech

College Republicans group lawsuit says SIUE restricts speech”

"UCPD arrested three students engaged in an act of civil disobedience on campus, showing as the university has time and again, the readiness at which armed force will be called upon to protect the "free speech" of hateful groups at the expense of those who speak out against them", the statement begins, asserting that the protesters were merely "demanding that [the College Republicans] halt their harmful activity".

"First, they create an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech in the Free Speech Area", according to the brief.

The lawsuit at Pierce College was filed earlier this year by Kevin Shaw, a student at the school who alleges that his right to free speech was violated when an administrator told him that he needed to move to a free speech zone while he was handing out Spanish-language copies of the Constitution on campus.

Demonstrations are allowed on other parts of the public university campus, but campus rules require a notice, which the College Republicans argue adds unnecessary difficulty.

"The DOJ alleges that the college's speech policies amounted to an unconstitutional prior restraint that chilled free expression". As the DOJ puts it in its statement of interest, "T$3 he College enforces its speech restrictions "selectively and unevenly" by allowing speech outside the designated area in some instances but prohibiting it in others". "Such failure is of grave concern because freedom of expression is "vital" on campuses". "University officials and faculty must defend free expression boldly and unequivocally", he said in a press release.

"Last month, I promised a recommitment to free speech on campus and to ensuring First Amendment rights", he said.

The legal group representing the students, Alliance Defending Freedom, said in addition, all student organizations must get permission to use the speech zone.

Last month, the DOJ issued a statement of interest in a similar campus free speech lawsuit, Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski.

"If our school was a tennis court, the free speech zone is the size of an iPhone".

The Justice Department argues that "the college's speech policies were not content-neutral, established an impermissible heckler's veto, and were not narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling government interest".



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