(TargetLiberty.org) – A lawsuit was filed recently against Montclair State University in New Jersey for violation of the First Amendment.
On September 10, 2019, Young Americans for Liberty President, Mena Botros, and two other MSU students decided to protest their school’s gun-free zones. They wore orange jumpsuits and held signs meant to be sarcastic in nature that said “criminals for gun-free zones” and “every civilian gun is a threat.”
The lawsuit states the students were speaking at normal levels, not blocking traffic or interfering with classes or other university activities.
Alliance Defending Freedom
The Alliance Defending Freedom group, which is representing the students, said that a university officer game up to the students and told them “that anyone who wants to speak on campus has to obtain permission at least two weeks in advance and that the dean’s office would assign them a time and place to speak.”
Montclair State sued over unconstitutional speech policy, arbitrary favoritism toward student groups
— AllianceDefends (@AllianceDefends) January 16, 2020
ADF claims that the two-week requirement is an unconstitutional restraint that gives the school the power to deny requests for any reason. There’s also criticism against the school saying there aren’t any “objective guidelines” in place to make sure that the policy isn’t abused.
The president of Montclair State University, Susan A. Cole, defended the school’s policies in a statement:
“Montclair State University is absolutely and unequivocally committed to freedom of speech. Our policy and procedures concerning demonstrations and assemblies are based on a balance between the two principles.”
The two principles that Cole is talking about are the rights of University students to have the freedom of assembly and speech, and for all students to attend classes and activities without disruption.
The lawsuit, which will be heard by a jury, could help set a precedent for similar cases that have been popping up across the country.
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