On two separate occasions, J. Michael Brown and other individuals associated with the Young Americans for Liberty group engaged in speech activity on the campus of Jones County Junior College, including attempting to solicit individuals for their group and soliciting their opinions on the potential legalization of recreational marijuana. As a result of that speech, Brown and others were reprimanded by campus officials, prevented from engaging further in such speech, and told that they needed a prior approval from the school before they engaged in such activity.
In October 2019, two students at the University of Connecticut were arrested by University police for shouting the n-word in a parking lot late at night. Following this incident, the University began disciplinary proceedings. As a result of those proceedings, administrators found that the students were determined to have violated school policy and suggested that the students’ housing agreements with the school be terminated. In January, the students were informed of an imminent hearing on the situation. In response, the students filed a complaint against the school alleging violation of their First Amendment rights and requesting a temporary restraining order preventing the school from sanctioning the students.
Plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of several polices implemented by Montclair State University, including: (1) a requirement for pre-approval of student speech which retains unbridled discretion to deny such permits; (2) a system that allows the SGA to set “classifications” of organizations based on speech that affects privileges and funding opportunities; and (3) the use of a bias task force to punish “bias incidents,” a term that encompasses First Amendment protected speech.
The University of Illinois’s Student Code restricts students from advocating for non-campus candidates without gaining prior approval from the University. The University also has a prohibition against “bias-motivated” speech. Speech First challenged the constitutionality of these policies.
Iowa State University implemented “chalking” and “Acceptable Use of Technology Resources” policies that greatly limit students’ ability to speak on campus and using campus resources.
Jason Roberts—a student at Texas Tech University Law School (“TTU”)—requested permission to give a speech and hand out literature on campus detailing his religious and political views on homosexuality. Roberts declined to use the “free speech area” at the school, instead requesting a specific location on a street corner on campus. Although the school ultimately granted his request—albeit at a location across the street from his desired location—Roberts filed suit against TTU in the Northern District of Texas alleging that the school’s speech policy violated his First Amendment Rights. Even though TTU amended their speech policy after Roberts filed suit, the court held that the amended speech policy still violated the First Amendment due to its overbreadth and due to TTU’s failure to show a sufficient interest in controlling student speech to justify the speech policy’s intrusion on students’ First Amendment rights. Thus, the court struck down several provisions of TTU’s amended student speech policy as unconstitutional, granting declaratory and injunctive relief to Roberts.
Student was instructed by university official that she and her friends would need “special permission” to display political signs on campus, and to remain within the college’s “free speech zone” if she wanted to demonstrate. As part of the settlement agreement, Blinn College agreed to revise restrictive policies targeted in the lawsuit to comply with the First Amendment. Blinn also agreed to pay student Nicole Sanders $50,000 for damages and attorney’s fees.
Syracuse University’s student association has passed a resolution calling for the university to prevent a controversial speaker from speaking at the University.
A student at Texas Christian University was disciplined for publishing Tweets that the school viewed as inconsistent with its student code of conduct.
A Kanye West-themed party at UCLA sparked outrage and protests among some students, who considered the party and the costumes allegedly worn by some attendees to be racist. UCLA announced that it would investigate the incident.