Tremendous Win: State Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court, Sides With Conservative Students For Free Speech

By Mark Whittington | Tuesday, 06 December 2022 15:12
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The issue of free speech on college campuses has been burning for quite some time.

Conservative and libertarian students have been forcibly silenced by the woke and progressive. Many universities have placed restrictions on free speech and debate, primarily when conducted by conservatives, going contrary to the spirit of higher learning as a time to speak and debate issues respectfully without restrictions.

The Gateway Pundit reports on one such case where a group of right-leaning students is fighting back.

“In July of 2021, Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville were told they needed a permit to protest political issues.

“The policy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville states that students need clearance three days in advance for a protest.” The policy also restricts campus protests to small “speech zones.” Finally, groups intending to protest need specific permission from the university to be allowed to hold said protest.

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The students of the YAL found this policy to be an undue burden to their First Amendment right to free speech. They also maintain that the policy violates the Alabama Campus Free Speech Act, which guarantees the right to free speech on college campuses. The act was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey in 2019. So, with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, YAL filed suit against the university.

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The YAL describes itself as a “libertarian, classical liberal and conservative student activism organization.” The Gateway Pundit states that the Campus Free Speech Act “requires public universities to develop policies protecting free speech.” The YAL and Alliance Defending Freedom group contend that the university’s demanding protest requirements do not constitute developing policies that protect free speech. Therefore, the university violates the law.

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So far, the YAL free speech lawsuit has met with defeat in the lower courts. That situation changed when the Alabama Supreme Court reversed the lower court rulings and allowed the case to go forward on its merits. The suit will now be returned to the circuit court for litigation.

So far, the University of Alabama at Huntsville has been silent about the recent ruling. No one is aware of what if anything the UAH intends to do about changing its protest policy now that the matter is going to be argued in a courtroom.

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