The Corner

The Campus Free Speech Act Is Desperately Needed

I wrote last week about the importance of the model bill drafted by the Goldwater Institute — the Campus Free Speech Act. In my latest Forbes article, I elaborate on the problem and why state legislators must take action.

Free speech is far too important to leave to the campus crowd of administrators, faculty, and zealous students who are little inclined to stand up for free speech. Mostly, anti-speech views rule — that is to say, speech is tolerated only if it aligns perfectly with “progressive” ideology. Since campus officials have shown that they cannot be entrusted with the crucial task of justifying and defending free speech, it’s time for state lawmakers to step in. Sure, the academic elite will howl that such legislation interferes in “their” domain, but public colleges and universities are not theirs to run.

Let us hope that legislators who want to restore the First Amendment and its values on our campuses introduce the model bill in each state. It certainly won’t pass everywhere, but the debate will be enlightening.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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