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Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Equality of Silence

Thorough discussion in the Chronicle of Higher Ed (paywalled) about private universities enacting (mostly*) content-neutral restrictions on the time, place, and manner of campus speech in the interest of keeping the peace. The piece includes comments from Brian Soucek (Davis) and Genevieve Lakier (Chicago). Brian captures the problem with these peace-keeping policies--"It really takes some commitment to decide no, we’re going to stand by our First Amendment principles even when they mean that campus will be a little more unruly and disruptive than we’re used to."

[*] Some--American's requirement that fliers be "welcoming and build community" or regs limiting fliers to advertising campus events--are content-based.

In fairness to the universities, they do not act solely out of an institutional desire avoid unruliness and disruption. The threat of Title VI liability--imposed regardless of the protected nature of the speech at issue--drives them to "stop" antisemitism by stopping antisemitic speech. And the only way to do that is to stop all speech. So here we are.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on March 5, 2024 at 10:24 AM in First Amendment, Howard Wasserman | Permalink


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