Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ short term at the Justice Department has turned out to be a real disappointment for civil libertarians watching in horror as the DOJ maneuvers to strengthen the worst aspects of the nation’s failed War on Drugs. But Sessions’ remarks at Georgetown University Tuesday provide hope that he will at least protect civil liberty with relation to free speech.
“Freedom of thought and speech on the American campus are under attack,” Sessions told students.
“The American university was once the center of academic freedom—a place of robust debate, a forum for the competition of ideas. But it is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogenous thought, a shelter for fragile egos,” he added.
And anyone following recent headlines involving university protests against speakers with views which lie even slightly outside the boundaries of political correctness knows that Sessions isn’t exaggerating.
Sessions mentioned this Foundation for Individual Rights in Education report during his address, noting that 40 percent of universities have policies that seriously infringe on student 1st Amendment rights:
The AG announced that he’s directed Justice officials to begin looking into student lawsuits over campus attacks on free speech, including one recently filed against Georgia Gwinnett College where a Christian student alleges administrators attack speech by prohibiting him from distributing literature outside of so-called free speech zones.
“A national recommitment to free speech on campus is long overdue,” Sessions said. “And action to ensure First Amendment rights is overdue.
“Starting today, the Department of Justice will do its part in this struggle,” he added. “We will enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students’ free expression from whatever end of the political spectrum it may come.”
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