ACTION ALERT: Call your state legislators and tell them NOT to support any form of a “Campus Free Expression Act”. All forms of a “Campus Free Expression Act” are unconstitutional and must be scrapped!
We were recently sent a proposed draft bill called the “Campus Free Expression Act” that is being considered in the Heartland. Before this goes to any more states, it MUST BE STOPPED!
Our First Amendment freedom of speech is in jeopardy by the implementing of this proposed bill. The authors refer to it as a “Free Speech Zone” bill. However, Secure Arkansas and Secure the Republic do NOT support any “Free Speech Zones”. In the United States, we should always have the right to freedom of speech, period!
Nearly every time the legislators pass a bill, you lose a freedom or a right! Please remember that statement – because the legislative session is about to begin (again) for most states!
The author of the proposed “Campus Free Expression” bill that went to several Heartland states based their SEC. 2 “RIGHT TO USE CAMPUS FOR FREE SPEECH ACTIVITIES” on Supreme Court’s decision in Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U.S. 781 (1989). This case arises from the city’s attempt to regulate noise (the volume of amplified music at the bandshell so the performances are satisfactory to the audience without intruding upon those in the vicinity).
This badly-written Unconstitutional bill must be scrapped. If you’re going to support free speech, then support it – don’t compromise it!
Listed below are the reasons why Secure Arkansas/Secure The Republic cannot support the “Campus Free Expression Act” draft a.k.a. “Free Speech Zone” in its current form. We probably could’ve lived with the proposed bill if the changes suggested below were incorporated, but in our opinion, this bill should never have been proposed in the first place.
The title in SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE of the Act must be changed:
From: Campus Free Expression Act
To: Reclaiming Our Rights To Free Speech
Item 2 of SEC. 2 “RIGHT TO USE CAMPUS FOR FREE SPEECH ACTIVITIES” must be changed:
From: The outdoor areas of campuses of public institutions of higher education shall be deemed traditional public forums. Public
institutions of higher education may maintain and enforce
reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions in service of
compelling institutional interest only when such restrictions employ clear, published, content- and viewpoint-neutral criteria and provide for ample alternative means of expression. Any such restrictions must allow for members of the university community to spontaneously and contemporaneously assemble;
To: Public institutions of higher education shall NOT maintain and enforce any time, place, and restriction to Free Speech in any
manner. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of speech which the campus of public institutions must do, also.
Under “SEC. 3 CAUSE OF ACTION” item 2 must be changed:
This statement in the bill should be removed entirely: In an action brought under this subsection 5, if the court finds a violation of this act, the court shall award the aggrieved persons no less than five hundred dollars for the initial violation, plus fifty dollars for each day the violation remains ongoing.
(The way Section 3 is currently written, the fine could apply either to the student OR to the institute.)
The Foundation For Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is attempting to have the states pass a bill (shown below) to designate outdoor areas of public post-secondary educational institutions as traditional public forums open to free speech, and for other purposes. Their current proposed bill is compromising and unconstitutional. Keep in mind that legislation written with such a title as “Campus Free Expression” makes the bill APPEAR to support free speech and expression, but in reality, it turns out to accomplish the exact opposite of what you thought and hoped. This proposed bill restricts First Amendment rights! We must read such legislation CAREFULLY.
“Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion, or Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof; or Abridging the Freedom of Speech, or of the Press; or the Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble, and To Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances.” — First Amendment
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”
— Marbury v. Madison, 5 US (3 Cranch) 137, 174, 176m (1803)
“Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.”
— Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491
“An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”
— Norton v. Shelby County 118 US 425 p. 442
Some Famous Quotes
“Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime…”
— Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, dissenting Ginzberg v. United States,
383 U.S. 463 (1966)
“Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.” — Benjamin Franklin
“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” — Harry Truman
“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
— Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v. U.S. (1928)
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” — Benjamin Franklin
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” — James Madison
The following proposed anti-freedom bill would allow the public education institutions to restrict freedom of speech by regulating the time and place of all assemblies. You can be sure that these “Free Speech Zones” will be designated in small, out-of-the-way places.
Read the draft for yourself below:
===== Start of “Campus Free Expression Act” (Draft) =====
To designate outdoor areas of public post-secondary educational institutions as
traditional public forums open to free speech, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of State of _________ in
the General Assembly assembled,
SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the “Campus Free Expression Act.”
SEC. 2. RIGHT TO USE CAMPUS FOR FREE SPEECH
1) The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article ___, Section ____ of the
[State] Constitution protect expressive activities including, but not limited to, all forms
of peaceful assembly, protests, speeches, distribution of literature, carrying signs,
and circulating petitions;
2) The outdoor areas of campuses of public institutions of higher education shall be
deemed traditional public forums. Public institutions of higher education may
maintain and enforce reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions in service of a
compelling institutional interest only when such restrictions employ clear, published,
content- and viewpoint-neutral criteria and provide for ample alternative means of
expression. Any such restrictions must allow for members of the university
community to spontaneously and contemporaneously assemble;
3) Any person who wishes to engage in expressive activity on campus shall be
permitted to do so freely, as long as their conduct is not unlawful and does not
materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the institution;
4) Nothing in this act shall be interpreted as limiting the right of student expression
elsewhere on campus.
SEC. 3. CAUSE OF ACTION.
1) The following persons may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to
enjoin violation of this act or to recover compensatory damages, reasonable court
costs, and attorneys’ fees:
a) the attorney general;
b) persons whose expressive rights were violated through the violation of this
2) In an action brought under this Section, if the court finds a violation of this act, the
court shall award the aggrieved persons no less than $500 for the initial violation
plus $50 for each day the violation remains ongoing.
SEC. 4. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.
1) ONE-YEAR LIMITATIONS PERIOD.
a) A person must bring suit for violation of this act not later than one year
after the day the cause of action accrues;
b) For purposes of calculating the one-year limitation period, each day that
the violation of this act persists, and each day that a policy in violation of this
act remains in effect, shall constitute a new violation of this act and, therefore,
a new day that the cause of action has accrued.
===== End of “Campus Free Expression Act” (Draft) =====
[highlight emphasis in the draft above, ours]
Call your state legislators and tell them NOT to support this bill in its current form. It’s a bad bill and should be thrown out! It’s vague, ambiguous, highly restrictive (especially Section Two), and unconstitutional.
Once again, if you truly want to support the First Amendment and pass protection of free speech, then the whole bill must be re-written; below is a start.
Public institutions of higher education shall NOT maintain and enforce any time, place, and restriction to Free Speech in any manner. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of speech which the campus of public institutions must do, also.
A Free Speech Zone is unconstitutional and goes against the rights guaranteed in both the U.S. and State Constitutions. The “Free Speech Zone” is a defined area where people are allowed to speak freely… as long as they stay inside the lines. These highly-restrictive, unconstitutional Free Speech Zones are also known as First Amendment Zones, Free Speech Cages, and protest zones.
Charles Koch Foundation – funder of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), funder of Americans Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and funder of Americans for Prosperity.
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation – funder of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), funder of Americans Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and funder of Americans for Prosperity.
Kenneth C. Griffin is a contributor to Americans for Prosperity. Griffin was also the fundraiser for the 2008 John McCain presidential campaign and the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign at the same time. Griffin was a major contributor to the 2011 Rahm Emanuel mayoral campaign. Griffin’s wife, Anne Dias Griffin, is the analyst for Soros Fund Management.
William J. Hume – Past Director of FIRE.
A connection exists between the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and Brian L. Frank, who is a partner in MSD Capital, LP, and also a fundraiser for Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign. Daniel Shuchman is the current director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and he’s also a partner of MSD Capital, LP.
Federal Court has already struck down a highly restrictive Free Speech Zone established by the University of Cincinnati. This is good for the university students! Click here to see the court ruling.
ALL AREAS should welcome free speech, and we should not be boxed in or restricted. However, there are still areas in which freedom of speech is not welcome…
Past examples of freedom of speech INFRINGEMENT:
Did you notice the fine print at the bottom of the sign above? You may need a PERMIT to exercise your right to FREE SPEECH!! This is LAUGHABLE!
The following link address the special permit process you need to follow to use your First Amendment rights: National Park Service Special Use Permit – First Amendment Activities
In our opinion, the basis of the Free Speech Zone is the result of past prohibitive United Nations resolutions, such as these two:
United Nations Resolution 66/167 Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief
United Nations Resolution 66/168 Elimination of all forms of intolerance and
discrimination based on religion or belief
At the UN, on October 2009, the Obama administration backs the limits on free speech which include taking action against anything meeting the description of “negative racial and religious stereotyping”. Restrictions on free speech regarding religion have been the official foreign policy of the Obama administration since the fall of 2009.
Do your own in-depth online search, and you’ll find that the United Nations is creating (or supporting) many different types of zones for all types of purposes.
Representatives in our Heartland, PLEASE do your own objective research before supporting this proposed bill. Our First Amendment right is precious, and if we compromise on that, the Second Amendment could be in jeopardy, also. Many representatives in the four-state area are being recruited to carry this nefarious bill.
The last we heard, these liberal organizations, sponsored by corporate America, are still pushing to pass this proposed bill in its current form. Our rights to free speech are not up for negotiation!
So, do you want Americans to be restricted and forbidden to speak even more?
We should not subject our college students to this type of control. This is NOT what America is all about! Do NOT give these institutions or government agencies the ability to silence free speech, or none of us will be secure! We must not compromise our First Amendment.
Securing the blessings of liberty,