Skip to comments.ADF to Supreme Court: Students deserve justice in free speech suit against Georgia college (Christian Free Speech)
Posted on 02/17/2020 3:29:52 PM PST by yesthatjallen
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing two former students at Georgia Gwinnett College asked the U.S. Supreme Court Friday to hear their case and vindicate their free speech rights. Two federal courts declined to address whether Gwinnett violated the students constitutional rights because the college modified its policies after the case was filed. Most federal courts will decide the constitutional question even if the government changes its policy because doing so prevents future misconduct and vindicates the essential freedoms that the Constitution protects.
Student Chike Uzuegbunam tried to share his Christian faith with other students on the Lawrenceville, Georgia, campus in 2016. College officials quickly stopped him because he had not reserved one of two tiny zones where free expression was allowed without a permitzones that together made up only 0.0015% of campus. When Uzuegbunam reserved a zone and again tried to share his faith, officials again ordered him to stop because someone complained, which made his evangelization efforts disorderly conduct under a Gwinnett policy that applied to any expression that disturbs the peace and/or comfort of person(s). Student Joseph Bradford chose not to speak at all after seeing how officials treated Uzuegbunam. Thats when ADF attorneys representing the two filed the lawsuit, Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, to challenge the colleges speech zone and speech code policies.
Government officials shouldnt be allowed to get away with repeatedly enforcing policies that trample students constitutionally protected freedoms, said ADF Senior Counsel Travis Barham, who argued before the 11th Circuit. The district court clarified what Georgia Gwinnett College refused to make clearthat its students now have the freedom to speak in any outdoor area of campus. But neither it nor the 11th Circuit held Gwinnett officials accountable for how they repeatedly mistreated, censored, and intimidated Chike and Joseph.
The petition filed with the Supreme Court points out that the 11th Circuit is the only federal appellate court that leaves government officialshere, those at a public collegeunaccountable for violating citizens constitutionally protected freedoms when those officials later change their policies during litigation.
[T]he Eleventh Circuits outlier view allows these institutions to violate constitutional rights with impunityavoiding judicial review through a well-timed policy shift, explains the petition submitted by ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch. This rule sends a clear message to students when school officials trample their freedoms: Dont bother retaining counsel; we know how to game the legal system. And it signals that colleges can keep censoring students without consequence . This Court should intervene and declare that federal courts remain open to everyone when colleges violate students constitutional rights.
After the lawsuit began, Gwinnett amended its speech zone policy and eliminated its speech code but did nothing to rectify its mistreatment of the students.
We need to ensure that the wrong done to our clients is rightedsomething that both the district court and the 11th Circuit failed to do, said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom. Its our hope the Supreme Court will weigh in to make sure that this denial of justice doesnt occur to anyone else.
Age Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by 70 Chief Judge Edward Earl Carnes Montgomery, AL 1950 1992present &2013present G.H.W. Bush 65 Circuit Judge Charles R. Wilson Tampa, FL 1954 1999present Clinton 58 Circuit Judge William H. Pryor Jr. * Birmingham, AL 1962 2004present G.W. Bush 64 Circuit Judge Beverly B. Martin Atlanta, GA 1955 2010present Obama 58 Circuit Judge Adalberto Jordan Miami, FL 1961 2012present Obama 53 Circuit Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum Fort Lauderdale 1966 2014present Obama 57 Circuit Judge Jill A. Pryor Atlanta, GA 1963 2014present Obama 47 Circuit Judge Kevin Newsom * Birmingham, AL 1972 2017present Trump 52 Circuit Judge Elizabeth L. Branch * Atlanta, GA 1968 2018present Trump 42 Circuit Judge Britt Grant * Atlanta, GA 1978 2018present Trump 41 Circuit Judge Robert J. Luck * Tallahassee, FL 1979 2019present Trump 52 Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa * Miami, FL 1967 2019present Trump 39 Circuit Judge Andrew L. Brasher * Montgomery, AL 1981 beg. 2020 Trump ========================= 90 Senior Circuit Gerald Bard Tjoflat Jacksonville 1929 19812019 2019present Ford &1989-1996 91 Senior Circuit Peter T. Fay Miami, FL 1929 19811994 1994present Ford 83 Senior Circuit R. Lanier Anderson III Macon, GA 1936 19812009 2009present Carter &1999-2002 73 Senior Circuit James Larry Edmondson Jasper, GA 1947 19862012 2012present Reagan &2002-2009 85 Senior Circuit Emmett Ripley Cox Mobile, AL 1935 19882000 2000present Reagan 72 Senior Circuit Joel Fredrick Dubina Montgomery, AL 1947 19902013 2013present G.H.W. Bush &2009-2013 76 Senior Circuit Susan H. Black Jacksonville 1943 19922011 2011present G.H.W. Bush 71 Senior Circuit Frank M. Hull Atlanta, GA 1948 19972017 2017present Clinton 74 Senior Circuit Stanley Marcus West Palm Beach 1946 19972019 2019present Clinton 69 Senior Circuit Julie E. Carnes Atlanta, GA 1950 20142018 2018present Obama
& denotes Chief Judge of the Court
* denotes Federalist Society member
# denotes Federalist Society associate
Massive lawsuit, take their money, its all they understand. Meanwhile the Georgia Board of Regents which controls public universities in Georgia stand stone cold silent. Disgusting.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.