ALEC Free Speech Director Advises CA Senate on Protecting Campus Free Speech

Earlier this year, the University of California at Berkley was the scene of violent protests over its campus speakers. In an effort to balance a person’s right to free speech and at the same time to protect their safety, California lawmakers heard from Shelby Emmett, Director of the Center to Protect Free Speech at ALEC. She appeared at the invitation of ALEC member and CA State Senator Joel Anderson. Ms. Emmett is concerned that state legislatures will overreact to unlawful protests and pass restrictive speech measures that are unconstitutional, essentially making it more difficult for everyday people to participate in our democracy.

“You should never look at policy based on the 1% of knuckleheads, and instead remember that the majority of people in California are doing this the right way.”

Ms. Emmett further reminded lawmakers that an education on the First Amendment and free speech generally is sorely needed for everyone—including police officers and students. Education and enforcing the laws already on the books is the safest bet to protect free speech for all Californians.

Read the FORUM ACT to learn about the campus free speech model policy of ALEC.