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ADF to 2nd Circuit: Protect anonymous speech, association for college students

Medical student writing in a notebook

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, regarding a proposed friend-of-the-court brief ADF attorneys filed Wednesday on behalf of Young America’s Foundation, Manhattan Institute, and Southeastern Legal Foundation with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in Do No Harm v. Pfizer. In this case, the district court and the 2nd Circuit panel forced Do No Harm, a national association of medical professionals, students, patients, and policymakers working to protect the health care system from harmful ideologies, to reveal its anonymous college student members to proceed with its lawsuit:

“College campuses are meant to be a marketplace of ideas, yet students all across the country have stopped voicing their views for fear of official retaliation and unofficial ostracism. Anonymity in speech and association protects students from the harassment, threats, and opprobrium that come from voicing opinions some find controversial. Anonymity has strong historical and precedential roots and allows the marketplace to flourish even in adverse circumstances. Organizations like Young America’s Foundation, Manhattan Institute, and Southeastern Legal Foundation all rely on assuring their members and others that their privacy is of utmost importance, and we are urging the court to uphold that bedrock First Amendment right.”

The following quote may be attributed to Young America’s Foundation Vice President and General Counsel Vic Bernson :

“Conservative students frequently face reprisal from government actors for voicing their opinions. Whether students join together as a YAF Chapter, part of Do No Harm, or some other group, they should be able to exercise their constitutional rights without sacrificing their privacy, as Americans have done for centuries.”

The following quote may be attributed to Manhattan Institute Director of Constitutional Studies Ilya Shapiro :

“Bloated bureaucracies enforcing narrow ideological agendas have changed campus life for the worse. Students shouldn’t have to martyr themselves to push back on this excess, which is why anonymous and associational standing is so important.”

The following quote may be attributed to Southeastern Legal Foundation Executive Director Kimberly Hermann :

“With censorship at an all-time high, college students live in constant fear that what they say will be reported to campus bias response teams or Title IX coordinators. Courts must preserve their right not only to speak anonymously, but also to challenge any government censorship.”

  • Pronunciation guide: Langhofer (LANG’-hoff-ur)

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is dedicated to protecting First Amendment and related freedoms for students and faculty so that everyone can freely participate in the marketplace of ideas without fear of government censorship.

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Tyson Langhofer
Tyson Langhofer
Senior Counsel, Director of Center for Academic Freedom
Tyson Langhofer serves as senior counsel and director of the Center for Academic Freedom with Alliance Defending Freedom.