Orrin Hatch Introduces Bill to Protect Free Speech on College Campuses

Feb 07 2018

Washington, D.C.— Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the senior Republican in the United States Senate, introduced the FREE Act, legislation to protect free speech on college campuses.

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

“My proposal would require public colleges and universities to provide clear guidance on their efforts to protect free speech and the free exchange of all ideas,” Hatch said. “Students on campus should know that any regulation of speech remains content-neutral, apolitical, and narrowly tailored. They should be able to trust that their campuses will foster free speech, not stifle it.”

https://www.scribd.com/document/371020657/Free-Right-to-Expression-in-Education-Act-sponsored-by-Republican-Sen-Orrin-Hatch#from_embed

He wrote more about this critical issue and how his legislation would help bolster free speech in an op-ed this afternoon in National Review:

 Protecting Free Speech Where It Matters Most, on the College Campus

By Senator Orrin G. Hatch

 http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456164/free-speech-college-campuses-legislation-ensure-it

FIRE names America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12, 2018 — Each year, colleges across the country find dubious ways to silence student and faculty expression. In the last year, administrators became embroiled in litigation for telling a student he couldn’t hand out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution outside a free speech zone, continued a years-long effort to ban a group from campus due to its political viewpoint, and even investigated a professor for a satirical tweet — eventually driving him to resign.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has identified America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech, published today with detailed descriptions on FIRE’s website.
This year’s list includes the following institutions, in no particular order:
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.)
  • Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)
  • Los Angeles Community College District (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Fordham University (New York, N.Y.)
  • Evergreen State College (Olympia, Wash.)
  • Albion College (Albion, Mich.)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)
  • University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.)
  • Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas)
The institutions on FIRE’s annual list of worst colleges include one university that threatened the funding and editorial process of its independent student newspaper, another that erected fences around campus to keep peaceful student demonstrators out of sight of donors, and yet another that put a student through a months-long investigation and a four-hour hearing for a joke. (That student is still waiting to learn his fate!)
“College administrators, and sometimes even students, are going to greater and greater lengths to justify muzzling expression on campus,” said FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley. “This type of censorship makes for a sterile environment where lively debate and discussion can’t thrive. The public deserves to know which colleges will defend free expression — and which ones will go to seemingly any length to silence it.”
For the first time, FIRE also awarded a Lifetime Censorship Award to one university that threatens the free speech rights of its students and faculty so often that it deserves individual infamy: DePaul University.
DePaul earned the 2018 Lifetime Censorship Award in recognition of its decade-long rap sheet of suppressing speech at every turn. From denying recognition to a student organization criticizing marijuana laws, to forcing the DePaul Socialists, Young Americans for Freedom, and College Republicans to pay for security in order to host speakers at their meetings and events, to forbidding a group from using the slogan “Gay Lives Matter,” DePaul has staked out a leadership position in stifling campus expression.
FIRE’s 2018 list includes both public and private institutions. Public colleges and universities are bound by the First Amendment. Private colleges on this list are not required by the Constitution to respect student and faculty speech rights, but explicitly promise to do so.
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.

Ben Shapiro to Speak at UConn; Intellectual Counter-event to Occur; UConn Bars Public Attendance

UPDATE 1.23.18 UConn has now announced only students can attend. This below article explains that this is not customary–a recent event featuring Anita Hill was free and open to the public:

https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/01/uconn-bars-public-from-ben-shapiro-speech/


How to watch live:

LIVE TONIGHT: Ben Shapiro Kicks Off 2018 Campus Tour

Ben Shapiro is scheduled to speak at UConn this week, hosted by UConn College Republics.

Event Details Courtesy Facebook:

Come listen to Ben Shapiro lecture about contemporary political issues and then answer questions from the crowd. Ben Shapiro is the voice of the young american conservative movement, this is will be a night of intellectual diversity, that the University of Connecticut has ever seen.

For a refresher, Ben at Berkeley and Ben at University of Utah, Salt Lake City sparked enormously emotional reactions, even accusations of fascism and hate.

Ben Shapiro at Universities: Why Are Students Driven to Seek Counseling?

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In a departure from other universities who have loudly protested Ben Shapiro, sometimes requiring a large and expensive security presence,  an “intellectual alternative”  event will be held by UConn College Democrats. Titled “Ben Shapiro is Not as Insightful as He Thinks He Is,” the event recognizes the value of free speech and a free exchange of ideas.

Event Details Courtesy Facebook:

The UConn College Democrats are pleased to host Nathan Robinson this Wednesday, January 24th at 7:00 in the Dodd Center. His talk will be named, “Ben Shapiro Is Not As Insightful As he Thinks He Is.” The talk will be followed by a Q&A.

Nathan Robinson is the editor in chief of Current Affairs, a Yale Law graduate, current Ph.D. student at Harvard, a prolific author and a public defender in New Orleans. He has written extensively on conservative thought and Ben Shapiro’s arguments throughout his career.

The UConn College Democrats are dedicated to free speech and scholarship on campus. Nathan will offer an intellectual alternative to Ben Shapiro. He will dissect the arguments used by campus conservatives and demonstrate that behind the big names of people like Ben Shapiro, there is little of substance to their arguments. We want to strike a balance between the desire for a free exchange of ideas and the desire for the ideas presented to be factually accurate, respectful in their presentation, and grounded in public policy and politics, not baiting people into the culture war. This event will be happening at the same time as Ben Shapiro’s talk, as we hope that this will be a better space for true discussion of the tough topics we face here at UConn and as a nation. We seek for this to be an event that confronts these tough topics while taking a stand against Shapiro and the UConn College Republicans’ attempts to divide our campus rather than unite us.

FREE tickets can be acquired the day of the event from 1-6pm at the Student Union ticket booth. A valid UConn ID is required. Please note that there will be bag restrictions for the talk and that security will be present to ensure an orderly event. We are excited to host Nathan and this campus for a wonderful night of discussion.


Kudos to UConn!