Lawsuits

Michigan College Arrests Kids for Handing Out Constitutions, Whines About Being 'Vilified' When Students Sue

Don't want to be portrayed as a villain? Stop restricting free speech.

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Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) members were passing out pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution to fellow students at Kellogg Community College (KCC) in Michigan when college officials approached them and ordered them to stop. When the members refused—arguing that the First Amendment protected their actions—they were arrested for violating the school's policies.

The charges were dropped 10 days later, but KCC students and YAL members Michelle Gregoire and Brandon Withers, along with the rest of the KCC YAL chapter, sued the community college, the Board of Trustees, and a few other administrators for violating their First Amendment rights, as Reason reported earlier this year.

Now the administration is claiming that they are the real victims and have been unfairly vilified by the YAL lawsuit.

"Despite repeated public statements that the College does not take into consideration the content of speech or solicitation when granting access to campus, the YAL [chapter] and its supporters have vilified the College by spreading false information about why individuals were arrested on Sept. 20 and by suggesting that KCC does not value the U.S. Constitution or the free speech rights of its students," KCC spokesman Eric Greene said in a press release, "These accusations couldn't be further from the truth."

The community college claims that the YAL members could have gone on about their business had they just filed some paperwork and acquired a permit, but it is that exact policy the lawsuit argues is unconstitutional.

"Through the permitting process, KCC retains unfettered discretion to determine both whether students may speak at all and where they may speak," YAL's lawsuit reads. "These policies and practices chill protected student speech and disable spontaneous student speech on campus."

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a nonprofit legal organization that focuses on religious freedom, filed a brief last month in support of the plaintiffs and took issue with KCC's speech permit policy. They pointed out that the Student Life Office has the ability to modify or deny any student's request for a permit, and that there are no objective standards for officials to review the requests.

"This policy requires that KCC officials examine the viewpoint of expression and censor such speech if it is perceived to be contrary to the College's mission," the brief reads. ADF argues that KCC's policy falls under viewpoint discrimination and violates students' First Amendment rights.

Other schools, such as Bunker Hill Community College in Massachusetts and Los Angeles Pierce Community College, have also violated students' First Amendment rights by preventing students and YAL members from handing out pocket Constitutions.

Those schools deserve to be "vilified" too.

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29 responses to “Michigan College Arrests Kids for Handing Out Constitutions, Whines About Being 'Vilified' When Students Sue

  1. Waaaaaa!!!!!

    Man sometimes I just wonder if my eyes are going to start spinning like somebody Check Berry’s Beethoven. I can’t figure out of they really are that stupid, or if they are just stupid enough to not realize how stupid it makes them look, or if they want people to think they are that stupid, or if they are so oblivious that they don’t realize how stupid t=it makes them look.

    1. Whatever the case, it’s stupidity all the way down.

    2. There are no consequences for them. If they would have to pay something personally, this sort of crap would stop immediately. As it is, most of the time the students back down, so the administration loses nothing. If the students don’t back down, the school may lose, the taxpayers may lose if it’s a state school, but the administrators suffer nothing but a little inconvenience and maybe some embarrassment. If you want things to change, the people making the decisions to harass the students need to suffer some real consequences.

  2. Poor whiny idiots. I hope their incoming freshman enrollment goes the way of U Missouri.

  3. It is impossible to unfairly vilify a college administrator. One ought always to strive to do so, but sadly, no known level of contempt and vilification suffices.

  4. he Student Life Office has the ability to modify or deny any student’s request for a permit, and that there are no objective standards for officials to review the requests.

    “No.”

    “Why?”

    “‘Cause.”

    “That violates my free speech.”

    “STOP VILIFYING ME!”

    1. Yet another bureaucratic variant of FYTW.

    2. Permit? Well there’s your problem.

  5. Bunker Hill Community College

    Not worth dying on.

  6. The community college claims that the YAL members could have gone on about their business had they just filed some paperwork and acquired a permit, but it is that exact policy the lawsuit argues is unconstitutional.

    They pointed out that the Student Life Office has the ability to modify or deny any student’s request for a permit, and that there are no objective standards for officials to review the requests.

    So, KCC believes in free speech but they think you should have to ask permission, and possibly be denied for some murky, ill-defined bullshit reason.

    Seems legit. /sarc

    As always in these cases, anyone who claims to “support freedom of speech but…” really doesn’t. Fuck off, slavers.

    1. Free speech is only permitted in designated zones from 10-3 M-F except as directed by the commissar. Speech must be submitted at least 72 hours before delivered. Approval is at the discretion of the commissar. There is a $10 application fee and a $20 monitoring fee. FYTY

    2. “But” is exactly the same as “butt”: it’s where the shit comes out.

  7. This sounds about right:
    Lefty spouts bullshit, gets called on it, whines about being ‘attacked’.

    1. Have you ever confronted someone cutting queue or similarly being an ass. They often play the victim. It is in their nature.

      1. I called out a girl who was asking people if she could go ahead of them at airport security because her plane was leaving ‘in 2 minutes’. Told her she wasn’t going to make it and should have planned ahead (but that she could go ahead of me). She stopped asking people and managed not to cry, at least til we got through the line 20 mins later.

        1. My standard reply goes like “My plane leaves in 90 seconds, so no.”

  8. stupid administrators need the most attention.

  9. Do leftist groups ever get arrested for handing out copies of the US Constitution?

    1. They don’t hand them out, they wipe their asses with them, duh.

    2. Trick question?

    3. Of course they do. Everybody loves the Constitution – the left has the parts they ignore, the right has parts they ignore, and they both hate libertarians because libertarians want to protect the whole thing.

  10. You know who else whined about being vilified?

  11. Drop the legal equivalent of an atomic MOAB on these Grubers.
    Sue them back into the stone age

  12. Interesting how you need a permit now to exercise your 1st amendment rights.

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  14. There will be free speech time for all students, available every second Thursday afternoon of each month, between the hours of 2:00.

  15. There will be free speech time for all students, available every second Thursday afternoon of each month, between the hours of 2:00.

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