Speech First, Inc. v. Cartwright

February 2021
University of Central Florida (Public college or university)
Orlando, FL, United States

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Right wing
  • Incident Responses:
  • Incident Status:
    In litigation Federal Court of Appeals
  • Did not involve Speech Codes


In February 2021, Speech First, Inc. sued the University of Central Florida in federal district court seeking to enjoin enforcement of its “discriminatory harassment” and “bias-related incidents” policies on the ground that they are facially overbroad content- and viewpoint-based restrictions in violation of the First Amendment. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida denied relief on the grounds that the discriminatory harassment policy was not unconstitutional and that Speech First, Inc. lacked standing to challenge the bias-related incidents policy. On appeal, the 11th Circuit held that Speech First, Inc. had standing to challenge both policies and that the district court abused its discretion in failing to enjoin the discriminatory harassment policy. Accordingly, the appeals court granted a preliminary injunction with respect to the discriminatory harassment policy and remanded to the lower court for determination of the constitutionality of the bias-related incidents policy.