In a letter sent today, FIRE warns University of California System (UC) President Mark Yudof against enacting unconstitutional "hate speech" policies on UC's campuses. FIRE's letter responds to a recent recommendation from members of an official advisory body that, in response to alleged anti-Semitism on campus, UC "accept the challenge" of First Amendment litigation. FIRE urges President Yudof to reject the recommendation, reminding him that decades of legal precedent make clear that broad, content-based bans on student speech violate the First Amendment.
"Many people on campus see speech codes as a noble solution that will eradicate ideas and thoughts we disdain. But censorship has never changed hearts or minds," said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. "While the speech codes recommended here would not hold up in court, this belief that censorship is not just acceptable, but what 'wise and enlightened' people should do, is a long-term threat to our freedom."