OAKLAND, Calif.— Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have succeeded in having problematic speech restrictions on students in Cal State system universities placed on hold while a lawsuit against those restrictions, or "speech codes," moves forward. The decision to suspend vague portions of the CSU policy affects all 23 schools in the system.
"The university is supposed to be the ‘marketplace of ideas,’ but these speech codes, with few exceptions, are selectively applied against Christian and conservative students. Knocking those codes down, however, benefits everyone who cherishes their First Amendment rights," said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel David Hacker. "Today thousands of students throughout the California State University system are more free to speak without fear of punishment by agents of the government."
The judge suspended or limited aspects of the CSU policy at a hearing Oct. 31, saying that the policy contains serious constitutional problems. A written order from the court is forthcoming.
"ADF has challenged unconstitutional speech codes at universities across the nation, and the Cal State universities seem more interested in enforcing an ideology than protecting students’ First Amendment rights," Hacker said.
ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit, College Republicans at San Francisco State University v. Reed, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, in conjunction with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
ADF attorneys are also litigating a lawsuit against discriminatory non-discrimination policies at San Diego State University and California State University–Long Beach.
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.