8th Circuit: Arkansas State violated student’s First Amendment freedoms

Monday, Aug 31, 2020
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Chris Schandevel regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit’s decision Monday in Turning Point USA at Arkansas State University v. Rhodes, which found that Arkansas State acted unconstitutionally when it stopped a student, Ashlyn Hoggard, from setting up a promotional table outside of the student union to recruit students for a new chapter of Turning Point USA:

“Speech isn’t free when students have to ask permission before they can speak anywhere on campus. As the 8th Circuit rightly found, Arkansas State violated Ashlyn’s constitutionally protected freedoms when it told her she couldn’t set up a table in front of the student union to recruit students to join the new chapter of Turning Point USA that she was forming. We’re pleased that our lawsuit prompted the state to enact good legislation protecting free speech on campus and that the new law forced the university to change its unconstitutional policies, but our client’s First Amendment freedoms had never been vindicated until now. And by affirming that Arkansas State officials violated Ashlyn’s constitutional rights, the court ensured that the law is clearly established going forward. That means students will now have greater protections to speak freely on campus.”

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is dedicated to ensuring freedom of speech and association for students and faculty so that everyone can freely participate in the marketplace of ideas without fear of government censorship.

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