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.

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More