State Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court, Hands Victory To Conservative Students In Free Speech Case
In July of 2021, Young Americans for Liberty students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville were told they needed a permit to protest political issues.
The policy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville states that students need clearance three days in advance for a protest.
The YAL filed a lawsuit over this policy — saying it violates Alabama’s Campus Free Speech Act.
In July 2021, University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) students with the group, ‘Young Americans for Liberty’ (YAL) were told by the university that they needed a permit to freely protest political issues.
UAH’s policy states that students are allowed to protest, but not until they get clearance at least three days in advance, and they must get university approval before doing so.
YAL is a “libertarian, classical liberal and conservative student activism organization,” according to their website. UAH student Joshua Greer filed a lawsuit in the Madison County Circuit Court on behalf of the organization against UAH and the UA system in response to the policy.
The group representing the students, Alliance Defending Freedom, says the policy violates the Campus Free Speech Act, which was signed by Governor Kay Ivey in 2019. It requires public universities to develop policies protecting free speech. However, attorneys say the school’s message does not align with that policy.
A big win in court!
The Alabama Supreme Court will allow the lawsuit to go forward.
A free speech lawsuit against the University of Alabama in Huntsville by its Young Americans for Liberty chapter over a policy that required permission to speak on campus will proceed after the state’s highest court reversed a lower-court ruling.
The lawsuit challenged a UAH policy that “limits most student speech to small ‘speech zones’ and requires students to obtain a permit three business days in advance to speak on campus,” according to Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal nonprofit that represents the YAL club.
The group challenged the permit requirement and argued it violated the 2019 “Alabama Campus Free Speech Act.” University spokeswoman Elizabeth Gibisch has not responded to an email sent in the past week that asked for comment on the ruling.
Now that the Alabama Supreme Court has allowed the lawsuit to continue, “the case will proceed on the merits in circuit court,” according to attorney Mathew Hoffmann.
Important win for free speech!
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