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ADF appeals ruling that continues to allow two hours of 'free speech' per week at SLU

School policy requires outside speakers to obtain permit to exercise First Amendment rights on campus
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NEW ORLEANS — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys have appealed a judge's decision to allow Southeastern Louisiana University to enforce its permit requirement and two-hours-per-week "free speech" policy against a Christian speaker while his lawsuit against the school continues.

"The university shouldn't be allowed to prevent a citizen from exercising his First Amendment right to express his Christian beliefs," said ADF Litigation Counsel Jonathan Scruggs, who argued in favor of a motion for preliminary injunction at a hearing March 3.  "Such a denial puts a dubious campus speech policy above the Constitution."

In November 2007, Sonnier and his three friends were stopped by campus police from sharing their faith on campus.  Even though the three were attempting to engage others in conversation about their faith in a campus location approved for outside speakers, the police insisted that they needed a permit for such activity, including literature distribution.  University officials told them that a permit application must be filed at least one week before engaging in free speech--a process requiring the submission of substantial personal information and, sometimes, a fee payment.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

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Jonathan Scruggs
Jonathan Scruggs
Senior Counsel, Vice President of Litigation Strategy & Center for Conscience Initiatives
Jonathan Scruggs serves as senior counsel and vice president of litigation strategy and the Center for Conscience Initiatives with Alliance Defending Freedom.