An Unprecedented Commitment to the Marketplace of Ideas

Today, the Alliance Defense Fund (my employer) announced an unprecedented commitment to free speech on campus. A single donor has given a $9.2 million grant to fund the Alliance Defense Fund’s university project, an unprecedented, multi-faceted assault on campus censorship. All told, ADF intends to commit just under $20 million to this battle. 

Sadly, universities have demonstrated that they will not repeal speech codes voluntarily, that they will work industriously to invent new pretexts for tossing religious student groups from campus, and that they are increasingly imposing ideological and religious litmus tests for graduation. Speech codes, speech zones, and unconstitutionally expansive nondiscrimination policies are the rule rather than the exception on campus. Our nation’s wealthiest educational institutions consistently (and seemingly proudly) defy the law. This has to stop.

Clearly, national problems require a national response, and with this financial commitment, university administrators are now on notice — they can no longer assume their unconstitutional actions and policies won’t be challenged. As we ramp up operations to restore the marketplace of ideas on campus, I believe that assumption will soon change, and as it does, the current culture of censorship will be consigned to the “dustbin of history.”

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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