- Free speech allows individual’s to use their own voice to ensure “We the People” would control their own destiny without government intrusion or interference.
- Freedom of speech and inquiry are crucial in higher education. Universities exist to educate students and pursue knowledge.
- Violating the privacy of individuals who choose to donate to nonprofit 501(c)(3)-designated organizations has the potential to chill free speech
- It is imperative to empower consumers by protecting their right to receive truthful commercial information.
Freedom of speech is paramount for the American system of government and American culture. Born from revolution, American society has been created, evolved and progressed based in part, on the First Amendment. More specifically, free speech allows individual’s to use their own voice to ensure “We the People” would control their own destiny without government intrusion or interference.
Freedom of speech is not an isolated topic. Free speech and First Amendment law bleed into multiple public policy areas such as education, criminal justice, civic participation, health care, commerce and even technology.
The Center to Protect Free Speech focuses on three key areas: Campus speech, donor privacy, and commercial speech.
Campus Speech – Freedom of speech and inquiry are crucial in higher education. Universities exist to educate students and pursue knowledge. As a “marketplace of ideas,” the university offers a forum for ideas to compete. This intellectual competition produces a level of academic rigor that is impossible to produce without freedom of speech for both students and professors. The Center will focus on three primary issues in higher education; two relating to professors/faculty and one related specifically to student speech on campus:
Academic Freedom – the right of the professor/faculty to determine the content of their instruction without fear of government intrusion, while at the same time ensure material is germane to the subject of the class.
Freedom to Research—Professors also need protection as they pursue research that may be unpopular or controversial. A common intimidation tactic of political activists is to submit Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests for professors’ private correspondence.
Student Speech – One of the main pillars of a higher education is to expose oneself to the “free market of ideas.” In order to do this, students must be exposed to new ideas and feel free to challenge agreed upon “truths.”
Donor Privacy –the first amendment’s preservation of free speech and assembly encourages open public debate, which is essential to the proper function of American democracy; violating the privacy of individuals who choose to donate to nonprofit 501(c)(3)-designated organizations has the potential to chill free speech for fear of retribution and stifle subsequent participation in the political process.
Commercial Speech – It is imperative to empower consumers by protecting their right to receive truthful commercial information, and the rights of businesses to engage in the free exchange of such truthful information.
Free Speech in Higher Education Act Final
WHEREAS, public universities and community colleges have an obligation to uphold students’ First Amendment rights of free speech; WHEREAS, the opportunity for disagreements, differences of opinion, and even heated arguments, unless threatening or otherwise unlawful, are vital to a climate of inquiry; WHEREAS, excessive or unreasonable security fees, student-on-student harassment,…
Resolution in Support of Congressional Law to Combat Government Pressuring of Social Media Platforms to Remove Speech Final
WHEREAS, social media platforms are private businesses and if forced by the United States Government to carry or promote speech those actions by the United States Government should be exposed and investigated for potentially violations of civil and criminal law, WHEREAS, President Joe Biden said to social media platforms that…
Resolution in Opposition to Legislation Regulating Online Advocacy Final
WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right to the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and petition; WHEREAS, the First Amendment’s preservation of free speech, press, assembly, and petition encourages the spread of information and open public debate, which is essential to a well-functioning democracy; WHEREAS,…
Statement of Principles on Commercial Speech Final
ALEC recognizes that commercial speech promotes an open society by eliminating arbitrary burdens on speech and is essential for the free flow of information among consumers and private enterprise in a crowded marketplace of ideas. Speech is also among the most important functions of an entrepreneur. Many of these entrepreneurs,…
Forming Open and Robust University Minds (FORUM) Act Final
WHEREAS, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Constitution protect the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of association and to petition the Government for all citizens. WHEREAS, the Supreme Court has called public universities, “peculiarly the marketplace of ideas,”…
Campus Anti-Harassment Act Final
General Description This bill enacts provisions related to harassment at an institution of higher education. Highlighted Provisions This bill: defines terms; enacts requirements related to how an institution of higher education addresses discriminatory harassment; prohibits an institution of higher education from punishing certain acts of speech that do not constitute…