A bill titled “Free Right to Expression in Education Act” has been submitted in Utah with the intention of abolishing “free speech zones” on public universities. Many public universities have designated certain parts of their campuses as “free speech zones” as secluded areas where students can voice controversial political opinions.
The bill claims that free speech zones restrict students’ ability to openly voice their opinion and is, therefore, a violation of students’ constitutional first-amendment right to freedom of speech. Many reports by conservative groups such as “Campus Reform” claim that free speech zones are used to target non-left political ideology, as lefty political demonstrations are rarely asked to move from the general campus, while conservative, libertarian, and other non-left political demonstrations are quickly asked to relocate to free speech zones.
Universities under the bill will not lose their ability to set restrictions on speech when it comes to time, location, and manner, but only if these restrictions are compliant to standards set by the Supreme Court. This bill is essentially removing universities’ right to act as sovereign foreign entities when it comes to freedom of speech, expression, and association.
Unlike Australia, the United States gives its citizens an absolute right to freedom of speech, meaning citizens have a blanket right to say whatever they please as long as their speech is not inciting violence. This is regardless of “hate-speech” standards set by many European countries, not to mention Australia. This bill is an attempt to hold universities legally to the same standard as other US institutions and would go a long way towards ending widespread university indoctrination and subjugation of unwelcome speech.
Deputy Editor, The Unshackled
Host of the Front and Center Podcast