Speech First, Inc. v. Khator

February 2022
University of Houston (Public college or university)
Houston, TX, United States

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Right wing
  • Incident Responses:
  • Incident Status:
    In litigation Federal District Court
  • Was Speech Code incident


On behalf of three conservative students, Speech First, Inc., a civil rights advocacy organization, sued the University of Houston claiming that its harassment policy violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The policy disciplines students who subject an individual to unlawful severe, persistent, or pervasive treatment based on their membership in a protected class. Such treatment includes conduct that (a) denigrates or shows aversion towards a protected individual or group; (b) creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive learning, living, or working environment; or (c) causes an unreasonable interference with an individual’s academic or work performance. Speech First, Inc. alleges that the policy is a content- and viewpoint-based speech restriction that is not narrowly tailored to furthering the university’s interest in addressing discriminatory harassment, and is therefore unconstitutionally overbroad.