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The New Guard

YAF Appears Before 8th Circuit Court To Fight University Of Minnesota For Free Speech

By

Kara Zupkus

July 19, 2023

Young America’s Foundation, in partnership with Alliance Defending Freedom, looks forward to the oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit on Tuesday, May 11–and looks forward to once again ensuring freedom of speech is protected for all students.

In 2018, YAF filed a lawsuit against the University of Minnesota for invoking its “Large Scale Events Policy” in order to censor YAF’s Ben Shapiro lecture on campus. University administrators schemed to limit student exposure to Mr. Shapiro’s conservative ideas, banishing Shapiro’s lecture to the St. Paul campus, refusing to allow him to speak on the University’s main campus in Minneapolis, and arbitrarily limiting student attendance to 500 attendees.

“University of Minnesota officials attempted to stifle the free speech of conservative students on campus, solely in fear of how liberal students might react to hearing a new perspective,” said Governor Scott Walker, president of Young America’s Foundation. “Public university administrators don’t get to pick and choose which viewpoints are welcome on campus, and should never bend a knee to the mob. The First Amendment protects speech for all–and YAF will continue to hold accountable any schools in violation of the U.S. Constitution.”

“Today’s college students are our future legislators, judges, and voters. That’s why it’s so important that public colleges model the First Amendment values they’re supposed to be teaching students,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer. “The University of Minnesota has allowed far-left speakers, including United States Representative Ilhan Omar to speak in the same hall it refused to Mr. Shapiro. Universities that pick and choose which voices can be heard on campus violate the First Amendment.”

“Young America’s Foundation stands ready to help any student who feels their rights are being infringed upon by overzealous administrative bureaucrats,” YAF Deputy General Counsel Steve Mairella said.

Information on how to listen to Tuesday’s hearing can be found here.

UPDATE: “This morning, Young America’s Foundation fought in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Amendment rights of students at the University of Minnesota who were blocked by the school’s efforts to purposely undermine attendance at a Ben Shapiro event,” said YAF Spokeswoman Kara Zupkus. “YAF is unafraid to take a bold stand for the U.S. Constitution any place, anytime, anywhere.”

For additional information or to request an interview, contact YAF Spokeswoman Kara Zupkus at 800-USA-1776 or [email protected].

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