The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

Ft. Lewis College Posting Policy Forbids "Hate Speech"


The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education just noted this as its "Speech Code of the Month." To be sure, a public college can impose some limits on what student groups post on campus, because walls, bulletin boards, and the like are generally seen as "limited public fora," in which reasonable, viewpoint-neutral restrictions are permitted. But restrictions on posting "hate speech" in such a limited public forum (or even on displaying it in a nonpublic forum) are viewpoint-based, and thus unconstitutional (see, e.g., Matal v. Tam (2017) and Iancu v. Brunetti (2019)).