DoJ Backs Free-Speech Watchdog In Lawsuit Against UMich

Authored by Nikita Vladimirov via Campus Reform,

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a statement of interest in a lawsuit challenging the University of Michigan’s controversial speech code policies.

The DOJ announced the move in a press release Monday, summarizing the facts of the case and explaining the government’s position on campus free speech.

As previously reported by Campus Reform, the school’s broad disciplinary code attracted attention from a free speech watchdog, Speech First, that sued the university over its "highly subjective" policies earlier this year.

“Speech First alleges that the University of Michigan’s policies on ‘harassment,’ ‘bullying,’ and ‘bias’ are so vague and overbroad as to prompt students to limit their speech out of fear that they might be subject to disciplinary sanction, including ‘individual education’ or ‘restorative justice’ at the hands of the University’s Bias Response Team,” the DOJ said in a statement.

“The United States’ Statement of Interest argues that the University of Michigan’s Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which prohibits ‘harassment,’ ‘bullying,’ and ‘bias,’ is unconstitutional because it offers no clear, objective definitions of the violations,” the department continued.

“Instead, the Statement refers students to a wide array of ‘examples of various interpretations that exist for the terms,’ many of which depend on a listener’s subjective reaction to speech.”

According to the press release, the DOJ is also taking aim at the school’s bias response policy, arguing that it “chills protected speech” by encouraging students to “report any suspected instances of bias” to the school’s Bias Response Team.

“Freedom of speech and expression on the American campus are under attack,” Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio said in a statement.

“This Justice Department, under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is committed to promoting and defending Americans’ first freedom at public universities."

Nicole Neily, president of Speech First, praised the Trump administration for its interest in the lawsuit, lauding the DOJ for its effort in protecting the First Amendment rights of students. 

“We’re delighted that the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a statement of interest in our case against the University of Michigan,” Neily told Campus Reform.

“Over the past year, DOJ has shown that they place a high priority on the First Amendment rights of students across the country, and we look forward to the court ruling on the merits of Speech First v. Schlissel.”

University of Michigan officials, however, have reportedly disputed the accuracy of the DOJ’s statement, arguing that the school’s Bias Response Team does not have the power to discipline students.

“Contrary to the department’s statement, the university’s Bias Response Team does not 'have the authority to subject students to discipline and sanction,’” said university spokesman Rick Fitzgerald, as reported by Michigan Radio. “It provides support to students on a voluntary basis; it does not investigate claims of bias or discipline students in any way.”

Comments

takeaction Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:03 Permalink

Good...things seem to all be coming into alignment....And Dem/Lib heads exploding worldwide.

Trump....Crushes it in North Korea.  Watching CNN....today, they said that Trump gave up his biggest leverage...guess what that was.  North Korea has always wanted to meet with an American President...that is what Trump gave up...the meeting.  So NOT to have a meeting was the leverage.  These people are absolute KOOKS. They are trying to spin this...and can't.

.

Then...I hope all of you were able to watch the full RODMAN interview.  I gained new respect for him.  He brought messages from North Korea 5 years ago...and Obama told him to fuck off.  This is a great watch.

This is the FULL RARE interview...most sites are only taking clips.  MUST SEE.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxbM4uDsk1U

UPDATE....then I watched the full Interview of TRUMP with Stephanopolus just now.  George kept trying to BADGER Trump...and Trump knocked it out of the park.  Full 13 minutes here...Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPwAP0CVxYg

Nov1917Sucks takeaction Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:27 Permalink

Cant get over your fuk up voting for Trump,,LOL! The best headline was at an Asian website that stated "Trump pays back China for $Million dollar kick backs"

Trump goes to NK and gives with no gets. Obama and Iran have to be laughing their azz off!!

In fact Iran responded a few hours ago by stating it would take the same deal Trump offered NK, because it was better for Iran than the Obama/Europe deal........ Thats funny shyte

In reply to by takeaction

nmewn Got The Wrong No Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:48 Permalink

For reelz, this one up above you is a classic example, if anyone can unpack his conflicted statement they're a better man than I...

"Trump goes to NK and gives with no gets. Obama and Iran have to be laughing their azz off!!

In fact Iran responded a few hours ago by stating it would take the same deal Trump offered NK, because it was better for Iran than the Obama/Europe deal."

...I have no idea what any of that means.

In reply to by Got The Wrong No

Shemp 4 Victory nmewn Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:49 Permalink

 

I have no idea what any of that means.

The clinical description would appear to be word salad,

a "confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases", most often used to describe a symptom of a neurological or mental disorder. The words may or may not be grammatically correct, but are semantically confused to the point that the listener cannot extract any meaning from them.

 Schizophrenia is collecting a rich harvest.

In reply to by nmewn

Arctic Frost Nov1917Sucks Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:32 Permalink

 

Can’t get over your fuck up believeing Americans actually fall for your crap, LMFAO!!!! You actually think that a 45 minute meeting was supposed to come up with an instant agreement AND you actually think you’re intelligent, LLMMFFFAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOO!!

 

GAWD, I hope your posting this dribble ALL over the Internet!! This even beats Nancy Pelosi’s contention that having jobs and consumer confidence is a bad thing, hahahahahaha. You’re your own worst enemy and that is SO SATISFYING!

In reply to by Nov1917Sucks

chubbar MasterControl Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:27 Permalink

Yes, do that just out of principle. However, I want to see a full court legal press on the actual PEOPLE or BOD's that are implementing these Nazi tactics against students who have every right to express their views.

I also want to see federal action against students who assault people who are doing nothing other than exercising their freedom of speech rights. These unconstitutional actions deserve jail time and I think some university presidents need to get sent away so they all get the message that their fucking social justice warrior bullshit isn't playing with this administration.

In reply to by MasterControl

MoreFreedom chubbar Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:54 Permalink

I think Trump should have the DOJ suing both the Mayor of Charlottesville (Nikuyah Walker) and the Governor of Virginia (Terry McAulifee) for conspiring to ensure there was violence at a speech, by limiting police to a single park, and telling them to let other crimes just outside the park occur without police protection; thus, not protecting our freedom of speech or people's right to be protected while speaking or otherwise.    Which of course they blamed on the White Nationalists (who most people disagree with including me, but they still have their free speech rights) rather than themselves.   To me, it's a clear failure to protect our civil rights for partisan political purposes.

In reply to by chubbar

ipso_facto Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:08 Permalink

'the university’s Bias Response Team does not 'have the authority to subject students to discipline and sanction,’...

No just Marxist-sanctioned harassment and intimidation.

Arctic Frost ipso_facto Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:44 Permalink

 

“. . . the University’s Bias Response Team does not have the authority to subject students to discipline and sanction . . . “

 

Prohibit (verb) : Formally forbid by law, rule, or other authority . . .

 

FIRST they stop teaching cognitive thinking at University, NOW they’ve stopped teaching intelligent vocabulary. 

In reply to by ipso_facto

Nov1917Sucks Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:20 Permalink

Free speech has always been eroding, now under Trump its on overdrive. When have you seen anyone on the MSM speaking the truth about the lunacy, immorality and outright hate destruction of Christianity. Christians have killed more people than all the other delusional cults combined, yet it is a free for all against Islam and secularism. Show me one steaming pile of cunt on FOX not wearing a dead guy on 2 sticks around her neck!

99% Judea-Christian Congress for EVER, yet the country is 20%+ secular. There is your problem! The country is evolving but the govt is living in the 18th Century!

monkeyshine Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:22 Permalink

"Bias response team" has to be one of the best Orwellian phrases of the decade.  I'm sure they don't have the authority to discipline or sanction. That would be too efficient. Instead they must refer the 'bias responded' over to the DISCO (Disciplinary Inter-mural Sanctioning Campus Organization) for delousing.  

SH_Resurrected Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:27 Permalink

Reading about Speech First's lawsuit against University of Michigan's policies to eliminate harassment, bullying and bias made me feel harassed and bullied by a biased organization.

I've been triggered.

I need my safe-space.

gwar5 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:34 Permalink

About fucking time.

Civil rights are for everybody. If socialists who shut down free speech on public campuses with communist lynch mobs are committing an obvious crime and should be prosecuted. Separate but equal campuses for white folk somewhere else is not an option.

White is a color too!

snblitz Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:09 Permalink

“Contrary to the department’s statement, the university’s Bias Response Team does not 'have the authority to subject students to discipline and sanction,’” ... “It provides support to students on a voluntary basis; it does not investigate claims of bias or discipline students in any way.”

Of course it does not.  There are **other agencies** that carry out the investigations and discipline.

One organization gets the "reports", another organization carries out the retaliation.

Utterly classic misdirection.