PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Christopher Perry

Telephone: 301-801-0608

Email: cperry@saveservices.org

 

The Constitution Doesn’t Stop at the Campus Gates: SAVE Commends Lawmakers for Advancing Free Speech, Due Process Bills

 

WASHINGTON / July 17, 2017 – Responding to concerns about unconstitutional practices on college campuses, lawmakers in 16 states have introduced 18 bills designed to restore free speech or due process protections to college students. The states are California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

SAVE commends the legislators who have championed these bills, and notes the favorable bipartisan support these bills are enjoying.

Among the 18 bills, four already have been signed into law by the governors of Colorado, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. In North Carolina and Rhode Island, bills have passed both chambers and await the governors’ approval.

The free speech bills address a range of First Amendment concerns such campus speech codes, so-called “free speech” zones, dis-invitations of controversial speakers, and other infringements on the expressive rights of students and faculty.

Notable is Tennessee’s Campus Free Speech Protection Act, Senate Bill 723. Signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam on May 9, the Act provides some of the country’s strongest protections for student and faculty speech on public college campuses.

The due process bills were designed to ensure the availability of active counsel and other due process protections for students involved in campus disciplinary proceedings. Legislators in Georgia, North Carolina, and Utah championed the due process bills in these three states, but those bills did not reach the governors’ desks.

SAVE has drafted a model sexual assault bill titled the Campus Equality, Fairness, and Transparency Act that is designed to encourage law enforcement involvement in campus felony-level crimes, and establishes a range of due process protections: http://www.saveservices.org/sexual-assault/cefta/

SAVE has developed a chart that displays all 18 bill numbers, their URL links, bill summaries, and current legislative status. The chart is available here: http://www.saveservices.org/wp-content/uploads/State-FS-and-DP-Legislative-Analysis.pdf

SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) is working to restore free speech and due process on college campuses: www.saveservices.org