Ben Shapiro Event at University of Minnesota Facing Hurdles According to YAF

Feb 26, 2018

Ben Shapiro will speak at a free event on campus. More details will be posted as the event approaches.

This event will be live streamed at 7:00 pm CT / 8:00 ET. Please click here to register to watch.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN

YAF, sponsor of the event, now claims the university is denying venue requests to isolate the conservative event.

The Department of Justice recently filed a “Statement of Interest” in attempts to hinder YAF events, in particular with regard to USC Berkeley’s handling of YAF’s Ben Shapiro event last September.

In filing the Statement of Interest, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand provided the following statement:

“This Department of Justice will not stand by idly while public universities violate students’ constitutional rights.”

Justice Department Files Statement of Interest in California College Free Speech Case

Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) is an ideologically conservative youth activism organization that was founded in 1960 as a coalition between traditional conservatives and libertarians on American college campuses. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the chapter affiliate of Young America’s Foundation.

House Intelligence Committee Minority Response to Release of “Misleading Memo”

Washington, February 2, 2018 

Washington, DC – Today, the Minority of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence responded to the release of HPSCI Chairman Nunes’ memo:

“Chairman Nunes’ decision, supported by House Speaker Ryan and Republican Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to publicly release misleading allegations against the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation is a shameful effort to discredit these institutions, undermine the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation, and undercut congressional probes. Furthermore, their refusal to allow release of a comprehensive response memorandum prepared by Committee Democrats is a transparent effort to suppress the full truth.

“As the DOJ emphasized to Chairman Nunes, the decision to employ an obscure and never before used House rule to release classified information without DOJ and FBI vetting was ‘extraordinarily reckless.’ The selective release and politicization of classified information sets a terrible precedent and will do long-term damage to the Intelligence Community and our law enforcement agencies. If potential intelligence sources know that their identities might be compromised when political winds arise, those sources of vital information will simply dry up, at great cost to our national security.

“The Republican document mischaracterizes highly sensitive classified information that few Members of Congress have seen, and which Chairman Nunes himself chose not to review. It fails to provide vital context and information contained in DOJ’s FISA application and renewals, and ignores why and how the FBI initiated, and the Special Counsel has continued, its counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s election interference and links to the Trump campaign. The sole purpose of the Republican document is to circle the wagons around the White House and insulate the President. Tellingly, when asked whether the Republican staff who wrote the memo had coordinated its drafting with the White House, the Chairman refused to answer.

“The premise of the Nunes memo is that the FBI and DOJ corruptly sought a FISA warrant on a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, and deliberately misled the court as part of a systematic abuse of the FISA process. As the Minority memo makes clear, none of this is true. The FBI had good reason to be concerned about Carter Page and would have been derelict in its responsibility to protect the country had it not sought a FISA warrant.

“In order to understand the context in which the FBI sought a FISA warrant for Carter Page, it is necessary to understand how the investigation began, what other information the FBI had about Russia’s efforts to interfere with our election, and what the FBI knew about Carter Page prior to making application to the court – including Carter Page’s previous interactions with Russian intelligence operatives. This is set out in the Democratic response which the GOP so far refuses to make public.

“The authors of the GOP memo would like the country to believe that the investigation began with Christopher Steele and the dossier, and if they can just discredit Mr. Steele, they can make the whole investigation go away regardless of the Russians’ interference in our election or the role of the Trump campaign in that interference. This ignores the inconvenient fact that the investigation did not begin with, or arise from Christopher Steele or the dossier, and that the investigation would persist on the basis of wholly independent evidence had Christopher Steele never entered the picture.

“The DOJ appropriately provided the court with a comprehensive explanation of Russia’s election interference, including evidence that Russian agents courted another Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos. As we know from Papadopoulos’ guilty plea, Russian agents disclosed to Papadopoulos their possession of stolen Clinton emails and interest in a relationship with the campaign. In claiming that there is ‘no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos,’ the Majority deliberately misstates the reason why DOJ specifically explained Russia’s role in courting Papadopoulos and the context in which to evaluate Russian approaches to Page.

“The Majority suggests that the FBI failed to alert the court as to Mr. Steele’s potential political motivations or the political motivations of those who hired him, but this is not accurate. The GOP memo also claims that a Yahoo News article was used to corroborate Steele, but this is not at all why the article was referenced. These are but a few of the serious mischaracterizations of the FISA application. There are many more set out in the Democratic response, which we will again be seeking a vote to release publicly on Monday, February 5th. Unlike Committee Republicans, however, we will ask the relevant agencies to propose any necessary redactions to protect any sources and methods not already disclosed by Chairman Nunes’ document.

“It is telling that Chairman Nunes put out this memo without bothering to read the underlying materials, and that he ordered changes to the document without informing his own committee members. It is a terrible lapse in leadership that Speaker Ryan failed to intervene and prevent the abuse of classified materials in this way. It is tragic, if all too predictable, that this President would allow the release of the memo despite FBI and DOJ’s expressions of ‘grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the [Republicans’] memo’s accuracy’. But most destructive of all may be the announcement by Chairman Nunes that he has placed the FBI and DOJ under investigation, impugning and impairing the work of the dedicated professionals trying to keep our country safe.”

The memo and letter from the White House can be found here.

Judicial Watch Sues for Russia Collusion FISA Documents

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for FBI documents regarding the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant application submitted to – and responses from – the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court related to alleged collusion between Russia and Trump campaign associates (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00245)).

Judicial Watch filed suit in the United States District Court of the District of Columbia after the agency rejected a July 19, 2017, FOIA request seeking:

Copies of all proposed and all final signed FISA applications submitted to the FISC relating to Russian interference in the 2016 election, allegations of collusion between people associated with the Trump campaign and Russia, and any known Trump associates regardless of context;

Copies of all FISC responses to the above-mentioned applications in which the Court notified the FBI or Justice Department that it would not grant the proposed applications or recommended changes. If any such FISC responses were provided orally, rather than in writing, please provide copies of FBI or Justice Department records memorializing or otherwise referencing the relevant FISC responses;

Copies of all FISC orders relating to the above mentioned applications, whether denying the applications and certifications, denying the orders, modifying the orders, granting the orders, or other types of orders.

“Today’s House Russia FISA memo makes a compelling case that the FISA court was misled and severely abused by top officials in the Justice Department and FBI,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The American people should be able to see for themselves the details of how the Obama administration officials (and Rod Rosenstein of the Trump administration) justified spying on the Trump team. From what we know publicly, this may be the worst government abuse scandal in a generation – which makes it urgent the Justice Department stop stonewalling the release of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion FISA documents.”

Justice Department Files Statement of Interest in California College Free Speech Case

Photo: Ben Shapiro was one of the high-profile speakers hosted by YAF this year at UC Berkeley. The event prompted counter-protests, a high level of security, and offers of counseling for students who did not feel safe.
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Department of Justice filed a Statement of Interest in Young America’s Foundation and Berkeley College Republicans v. Janet Napolitano. The plaintiffs, Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) and Young America’s Foundation (YAF), allege that the University of California, Berkeley, enforced a double standard when applied to free speech. BCR alleges that UC Berkeley applied a more rigorous and highly discretionary set of rules to their organization compared to other campus groups, especially with respect to “high-profile” campus speakers.

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit as a result of excessive hurdles BCR faced in bringing speakers of their choice onto campus. They allege that UC Berkeley’s High Profile Speaker Policy and Major Events Policy violated their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that Berkeley’s “High-Profile Speaker Policy” granted administrators unfettered discretion to decide which speakers are subject to arduous curfews, prohibitive security costs, or undesirable venues. In one instance, administrators—who had full discretion to determine who constituted a “high-profile speaker”—established a 3:00 pm “curfew” that conflicted with class times.

While the plaintiffs attempted to book speakers under the restrictions of the “High-Profile Speaker Policy,” a former president of Mexico and a former White House adviser were hosted at the University, but University administrators did not apply the High-Profile Speakers Policy to those events.

Berkeley counseling for impact speakers “have on individuals’ sense of safety & belonging”

In filing the Statement of Interest, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand provided the following statement:

“This Department of Justice will not stand by idly while public universities violate students’ constitutional rights.”

In addition to the statement, Associate Attorney General today penned an op-ed(link is external) on the issue of campus free speech.

This is the third Statement of Interest filed by the Department of Justice in a First Amendment case under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The first was filed on September 26, 2017 in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, and the second was filed on October 24, 2017 in Shaw v. Burke.

Attorney General Sessions reestablished the Department’s commitment to protecting First Amendment rights—especially campus free speech– in a speech at Georgetown Law School in 2017.

Slo-mo, Sleezy, Goon, Fester & More: Mongols Motorcycle Gang Rounded Up in Tennessee

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 18, 2018
54-Count Federal Indictment Charges 12 Members and Associates of Mongols Motorcycle Gang With Racketeering Conspiracy and Three Others With Various Federal Crimes Including Large Scale Drug Trafficking

A 54-count superseding indictment was unsealed today, charging 12 members and associates of the Mongols Motorcycle Gang (Mongols) with racketeering conspiracy, announced Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Don Cochran of the Middle District of Tennessee.  Three other individuals were charged with other federal crimes including large-scale drug trafficking allegedly from California to Tennessee and Kentucky, and crimes related to the Hobbs Act.

Joining U.S. Attorney Cochran in announcing these charges at a morning news conference were Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jack Webb of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Nashville Division; Assistant Director Dewayne Johnson of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley.

According to the indictment, members and associates of the Clarksville Chapter of the Mongols, engaged in a host of violent criminal activities, including murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, witness tampering, money laundering, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and large scale drug trafficking.

As stated in the indictment, the Mongols Motorcycle Gang identifies itself as an “outlaw” motorcycle gang, and is a nationwide and international organization with chapters located in different geographical areas.  Most of the chapters are in California, but chapters have been established in other parts of the United States and in other countries, including Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland and Thailand.

This morning, local, state and federal law enforcement officers began arresting those charged in the indictment and all but one are in custody.

“Gangs that conspire to spread illegal drugs like methamphetamine and lethal opioids, extort legitimate businesses, and wage violence on our fellow Americans will be held accountable by the Department of Justice,” said Attorney General Sessions. “Last year, we secured the convictions of more than 1,200 gang members, and, as this case makes clear, we are not slowing down.  I want to thank the ATF and all of our incredible state, county, and local law enforcement partners who helped make today’s indictment possible, including the Clarksville and Owensboro Police Departments, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and four county sheriff’s offices.  Today’s indictment is the next step in our efforts to dismantle gangs and stop the spread of deadly drugs and violent crime.”

“Attorney General Sessions has made it clear that prosecuting violent offenders and reducing violent crime is a top priority of the Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran.  “Today’s indictment and arrests have resulted in the removal of many dangerous individuals from neighborhoods in and around middle Tennessee and we intend to vigorously prosecute these individuals and hold them accountable for their actions.  I commend the many law enforcement officers and prosecutors who have dedicated enormous amounts of time and effort in bringing these charges.”

The indictment details allegations of violent, criminal activity and drug trafficking in and around the Clarksville area beginning in or about March 2015, by certain Mongols members or associates and continuing until the return of the indictment.  The 12 individuals charged in the racketeering conspiracy are:

  • James Wesley Frazier aka “Slo-Mo” and “Special,” 30, of Clarksville;
  • Aelix Santiago aka “Goon,” “Big O,” and “Big Offit,” 29, of Clarksville;
  • Kyle Heade, 30, formerly of Fort Campbell, Kentucky;
  • Joel Aldridge aka “Sleezy” and “Spoon,” 36, of Clarksville;
  • James Hines aka “Fester,” 42, of Clarksville;
  • Michael Forrester, Jr. aka “Stix,” 29, of Clarksville;
  • Jamie Hern aka “J-Roc,” 38, of Clarksville;
  • Robert Humiston aka “Bric” aka “Brichands,” 25, of Dover, Tennessee;
  • Michael Myers aka “Yea Yea,” 33, of Oak Grove, Kentucky;
  • Michael Levi West aka “Smurf,” aka “Blue,” 35, of Clarksville; and
  • Adrianna Frazier aka “Adrianna Miles,” 32, of Owensboro, Kentucky.

Charged with large-scale drug trafficking is:

  • Derek Leighton Stanley, 43, of Owensboro, Kentucky.

Charged with offenses related to Hobbs Act Robbery are:

  • Timothy Grant, 31, of Clarksville; and
  • Dustin McCracken aka “D,” 28, of Clarksville.

Stephen Cole aka “Lurch,” 36, of Clarksville remains at large and his whereabouts are unknown.

Allegations of criminal conduct contained in the indictment include:

Holding weekly meetings of the Mongols Clarksville Chapter at various residences and businesses in Clarksville for the purpose of discussing club business and to pay dues to support the criminal activities of the club;

Kidnapping and assaulting an individual, using a firearm and a Taser, at a motel in Clarksville on April 20, 2015;

Setting fire to and destroying the Sin City Motorcycle Clubhouse in Clarksville on May 17, 2015;

Kidnapping two individuals at gunpoint in the Clarksville area on May 22, 2015, and transporting them to a cemetery in Bumpus Mills, Tennessee, where one individual was murdered by shooting the victim at least eight times, including once in the head;

Robbing two individuals at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Clarksville apartment complex on July 3, 2015;

Breaking into a home in Hopkinsville, Kentucky on July 4, 2015, and pistol whipping the resident and stealing the resident’s belongings while holding the victim at knifepoint;

On numerous occasions, travelling to California and transporting an aggregate total of at least 50 pounds of methamphetamine back to Tennessee for distribution in Tennessee and Kentucky;

Delivering an aggregate total of at least $300,000 in cash, the proceeds of methamphetamine sales, to a co-conspirator member of the Mongols California Harbor Chapter.

On Jan. 9, 2016, in Clarksville, purchasing 80 to 90 pills containing Oxymorphone, a schedule II substance, in exchange for $3,000 to $3,500;

On Jan. 16, 2016, in Clarksville, attempting to purchase 90 pills containing Oxymorphone, in exchange for $5,400; during this deal, Kyle Heade shot and wounded another individual, using a 9mm handgun;

Kidnapping two individuals at a residence in Clarksville and holding them at gunpoint while they interrogated one of the victims and searched the residence for drug proceeds on Jan. 17, 2016;

On April 24, 2016, three of the individuals charged were travelling from Oak Grove, Kentucky to Boone County, Missouri, where they were stopped by law enforcement for travelling in a stolen vehicle and found in possession of a Glock 9mm pistol with an extra 30 round magazine and a .40 caliber handgun; 113 grams of 100 percent pure methamphetamine; and varying amounts of other illegal controlled substances;

On May 11, 2016, one of the individuals charged sold approximately three grams of 96 percent pure methamphetamine to another individual;

Attempting to murder an individual on July 14, 2016, by shooting the victim multiple times for wearing clothing identifying himself as a member of another motorcycle club;

From Oct. 26, 2016, through on or about Nov. 9, 2016, kidnapping a woman from a hotel in Nashville, and physically assaulting her and threatening her while interrogating her about the death of a co-conspirator member of the Mongols California Harbor Chapter.

An indictment is merely an allegation.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The Mongols Motorcycle Club maintains an active website:

https://www.mongolsmc.com/welcome/

Two Men Indicted for Illegally Trafficking American Eels

American eels . Credit-US-Fish-and-Wildlife-Service.

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Joseph Kelley and James Lewis were each indicted in Newark, New Jersey, with crimes related to illegally trafficking juvenile American eels, also known as “elvers” or “glass eels.”  A seven-count indictment was returned on Jan. 18, 2018, charging Kelley and Lewis with conspiracy to smuggle elvers and violate the Lacey Act.

The Indictment alleges that Kelley and Lewis knowingly harvested elvers illegally in the states of New Jersey and Massachusetts, and sold those elvers to dealers or exporters. Among those dealers is Thomas Choi, who pleaded guilty to related crimes in the District of Maine in 2016, and who was subsequently sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for those offenses.

Elver phase of the American eel, USFWS.

The indictments were announced today by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and Acting Director Greg Sheehan of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Eels are highly valued in east Asia for human consumption.  Historically, Japanese and European eels were harvested to meet this demand. However, overfishing has led to a decline in the population of these eels.  As a result, harvesters have turned to the American eel to fill the void resulting from the decreased number of Japanese and European eels.  Because of the threat of overfishing, elver harvesting is prohibited in the United States in all but two states: Maine and South Carolina.  Maine and South Carolina heavily regulate elver fisheries, requiring that individuals be licensed and report all quantities of harvested eels to state authorities.

Courtesy Que hay de comer, Twitter.

These indictments were the result of “Operation Broken Glass,” a multi-jurisdiction, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) investigation into the illegal trafficking of American eels.  To date, the investigation has resulted in two other indictments, as well as guilty pleas for nineteen other individuals in Maine, Virginia, and South Carolina.  These defendants combined have admitted to illegally trafficking more than $4.5 million worth of elvers.

The government is represented by Environmental Crimes Section Trial Attorneys Cassandra Barnum and Shane Waller.

UNDERCOVER VIDEO: Sr Network Security Engineer Reveals Twitter Ready to Give Trump’s Private DMs to DOJ

Since this video was released, Twitter has responded by stating the person in the undercover video has no authority over this type of release of information.

(San Francisco) A Project Veritas undercover investigation has revealed a senior network security engineer at Twitter stating that his company is “more than happy” to turn over the private communications and deleted tweets of President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice. If true, it is yet unknown whether Twitter is voluntarily disclosing this sensitive information or acting under a court order. Twitter is currently in the midst of defending itself from left-leaning criticism that President Trump hasn’t been removed from the enormous media platform for violations of Twitter’s Terms of Service.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Clay Haynes has been employed by Twitter since September 2016. On January 3, 2018, he met with a Project Veritas undercover journalist (UCJ) at Stookeys Club Moderne in San Francisco. Using a hidden video camera, the Veritas UCJ captures Haynes stating that “we’re more than happy to help the DOJ with their little investigation” of President Trump.

When prompted by the UCJ, Mr. Haynes provides additional details, “Basically, giving them every single tweet that he’s posted. Even the ones he’s deleted, any direct messages, any mentions…”

“…he’s dangerous, I don’t like him and he’s a terrible human being and I want to get rid of him,” the self-described bleeding-heart liberal Haynes says in the video about President Trump. “In fact, we had internal reviews about that…”

On January 7, 2018, James O’Keefe himself went undercover with Haynes at Morton’s Steakhouse in San Francisco to confirm if Twitter was working with the Department of Justice to hand over Trump’s tweets and DMs. When pressed about looking at Donald Trump’s messages, Haynes explained “We have a subpoena process for that very reason.” The conversation continued:

James O’Keefe: “Are you working with DOJ currently on that?”

Clay Haynes: “I can’t comment, even if I knew, I wouldn’t comment.”

“The fact is, even if Haynes was just speculating about helping Justice, his admission shows a clear and dangerous political bias at the highest levels of Twitter,” says Project Veritas founder and President James O’Keefe in the video.

“The question is: by Twitter giving private information about the President to the Justice Department, are they breaking the law, betraying a trust, following an official request or satisfying a political agenda by leading a crusade against the President.”

Describing himself as the bouncer of the network, Mr. Haynes also details the level of information Twitter retains in its databases about their hundreds of millions of users.

The Project Veritas Twitter investigation is the fourth installment of its American Pravda series. In Part I, Veritas disclosed that CNN’s Russia coverage is driven by ratings and a political agenda, but in reality, using the words of CNN Political Commentator Van Jones, is just a “nothing burger.” Part II disclosed a political bias at The New York Times which forced executive responses and an immediate change of their social media policy.  Part III exposed political bias at The Washington Post and brought to light that the far-reaching narratives of the paper’s editorial board are not rooted in the factual findings of their subject-matter expert reporters. Project Veritas will be releasing additional Twitter-related videos over the next several days.

Mr. O’Keefe has just completed a book about this series entitled “AMERICAN PRAVDA: My fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News.” The book will be released by St. Martin’s Press on January 16, 2018.

WHOSE STREETS? Documentary Shows Ferguson, Missouri from New Perspective

Official Selection:

Sundance Film Festival 2017 – World Premiere (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Full Frame 2017

San Francisco International Film Festival 2017

http://www.magpictures.com/whosestreets/

http://www.whosestreets.com

SYNOPSIS

Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know this story because they have lived the story. Whose Streets? is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for the right to live.

 

 

 

Free Speech & Free Speech Zones on Campus: DOJ files statement of interest in FIRE lawsuit

Kevin Shaw on the campus of Pierce College (Dawn Bowery/FIRE)

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2017 — The Department of Justice on Tuesday filed a statement of interest in a California student’s lawsuit against his college’s free speech zone policies.

In March, Los Angeles Pierce College student Kevin Shaw filed a lawsuit challenging Pierce College and Los Angeles Community College District policies that restrict student free speech rights to tiny “free speech zones.” The lawsuit is part of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s Million Voices Campaign.

“The United States has an interest in protecting the individual rights guaranteed by the First Amendment,” according to the statement of interest, a brief filed by the attorney general expressing the interests of the United States in a pending lawsuit. “The right to free speech lies at the heart of a free society and is the ‘only effectual guardian of every other right.’”

The statement of interest argues that, based on the facts alleged in Shaw’s lawsuit, Pierce College and the district’s policies and practices violate student First Amendment rights and denied Shaw “his right to engage in expressive activity in a public forum.” Shaw is currently awaiting a Nov. 14 hearing on the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

“I am humbled to have the support of the Department of Justice,” said Shaw. “Their statement affirms what I’ve believed all along — that the First Amendment is essential to American progress, and nowhere more so than on a college campus.”

In November 2016, Shaw attempted to distribute Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution and recruit new members for his student group, Young Americans for Liberty, along a main public walkway through campus. As he prepared, he was approached by an administrator who told him that he could not distribute literature outside the campus free speech zone, a tiny area on campus measuring approximately 616 square feet and comprising about .003 percent of the total area of Pierce College’s 426-acre campus.

Shaw was also told he must fill out a permit application to use the free speech zone. He was informed that he would be asked to leave campus if he refused to comply.

“FIRE is grateful for the Department of Justice’s decision to file a statement of interest in our lawsuit,” said FIRE Director of Litigation Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon. “As the department rightly recognizes, these policies severely restrict the expressive rights of all students on each of the nine district campuses. We cannot allow the First Amendment rights that Kevin Shaw and his fellow students possess to be taken away by administrative fiat.”

The lawsuit was filed on March 28 in partnership with Arthur Willner, a partner at Leader & Berkon LLP, who is co-counsel with FIRE in the case. In addition to challenging Pierce College’s unconstitutional free speech zone and permit requirement, the lawsuit also challenges an LACCD policy that requires the president of each LACCD college to designate at least one free speech zone on their campus. With approximately 150,000 students, the LACCD is the largest community college district in the country.

“This lawsuit presents Pierce with the opportunity to move to the right side of this issue by ending its unconstitutional violation of its students’ First Amendment rights,” said Willner.

If you are a student who has been censored on campus, FIRE and its Legal Network partners stand ready to protect your First Amendment rights in court. Students interested in submitting their case to FIRE’s Million Voices Campaign can do so through FIRE’s online case submission form. Attorneys interested in joining FIRE’s Legal Network can apply on FIRE’s website. https://www.thefire.org/

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses.

Million Voices Campaign