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By Rob Shimshock
Students sued a Michigan college Wednesday for banning free expression without a permit, alleging that the college’s current rules allow students to speak freely only within a zone comprising about 0.001 percent of the campus.
Alliance Defending Freedom is representing students from Turning Point USA, who are suing Macomb Community College after the school’s police told the students that they could not discuss their support of fossil fuels, hand out material concerning it or get signatures supporting fossil fuel usage, according to a press release obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Expressive activity is defined as the carrying or displaying of signs or placards, leafleting, campaigning, marches, rallies, parades, demonstrations, protests, assemblies, speeches, circulation of petitions, and/or any public demonstration on the grounds,” Macomb said in its Policy on Expressive Activity. “Requests [to partake in expressive activity] must be made in writing to the Dean during regular business hours at least 48 hours prior to any expressive activity on a form supplied by the College.”
The college’s policy, however, “does not apply” to labor unions contracting with Macomb. The college will establish a “reserved gate” where a labor union would like to engage in “expressive activity … as authorized by law.”
“Today’s college students will be tomorrow’s legislators, judges, college administrators, and voters. That’s why it’s so important that public colleges and universities model the First Amendment values they are supposed to be teaching to students,” Casey Mattox, ADF’s senior counsel, said in the press release. “It should disturb everyone when any college communicates to a generation that the Constitution doesn’t matter.”
Macomb Community College declined to comment and TheDCNF received no comment from the Alliance Defending Freedom in time for press.