Incident Political Orientation:
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.