San Francisco State University: Speech Code Litigation Project
SFSU put its College Republicans on trial before a campus tribunal (see more here) for stepping on makeshift Hamas and Hezbollah flags during an anti-terrorism rally. The College Republicans claimed that SFSU's speech codes were facially invalid, and with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund and the support of FIRE's Speech Codes Litigation Project, sued the university. The lawsuit ultimately resulted in an injunction against SFSU, effectively striking down unconstitutional speech codes across the entire California State University system.
- "SFSU Outdoor Event Request Form 2008 - 2009," September 9, 2008
- "Letter from ADF attorney David Hacker to SFSU," September 5, 2008
- "Victory over Unconstitutional Speech Codes: San Francisco State University Settles Lawsuit with College Republicans in Favor of Free Speech," March 4, 2008: Yesterday, San Francisco State University settled a lawsuit challenging its speech codes by agreeing to modify several unconstitutional policies to make them consistent with the First Amendment. The settlement also requires SFSU to pay damages to members of the university's College Republicans as well as to pay the College Republicans' attorney fees. The lawsuit—part of FIRE's Speech Codes Litigation Project—was filed in July 2007 by attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund.
- "Settlement Agreement between San Francisco State University and the College Republicans, March 3, 2008," March 3, 2008
- "Preliminary Injunction from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, November 19, 2007," November 19, 2007
- "Court Order for San Francisco State University, November 19, 2007," November 19, 2007
- "Federal Court Orders San Francisco State University, California State University System Not to Enforce Unconstitutional Speech Codes," November 8, 2007: In a crucial victory for free speech, a federal judge has ordered San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the California State University (CSU) System to stop enforcing several unconstitutional speech codes. The codes were challenged in a lawsuit filed by attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund in cooperation with FIRE. The lawsuit came after the SFSU College Republicans were put on trial by a campus tribunal for stepping on makeshift Hamas and Hezbollah flags as part of an anti-terrorism rally they held in October 2006. The plaintiffs asked the court to hold SFSU accountable for unlawfully mistreating them on the basis of their constitutionally protected expression and to strike down several unconstitutional speech codes at SFSU and in the CSU System.
- "Hearing Transcript of College Republicans at San Francisco State University, et al. v. Charles B. Reed, et al.," November 8, 2007
- "Students Sue San Francisco State University over Unconstitutional Speech Codes," July 9, 2007: San Francisco State University (SFSU) is the latest target of FIRE’s highly successful Speech Codes Litigation Project. In cooperation with FIRE, attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund filed a federal lawsuit against SFSU for violating the First Amendment rights of its students. Earlier this year, SFSU put its College Republicans on trial before a campus tribunal for stepping on makeshift Hamas and Hezbollah flags during an anti-terrorism rally. In addition to holding SFSU accountable for unlawfully mistreating these students for engaging in constitutionally protected expression, the lawsuit asks the court to strike down several unconstitutional speech codes at SFSU. Beginning today, SFSU will have to answer for its actions in court.
- "Complaint Filed in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California Against San Francisco State University," July 9, 2007
- "SFSU’s Speech Codes Named in Complaint," July 6, 2007
- "ADF's David Hacker on Civility Codes as Speech Codes," by Azhar Majeed, August 12, 2010
- "SFSU Policy Change Just Another in a Long Line of Free Speech Zone Reversals," by Azhar Majeed, April 7, 2010
- "SFSU Eliminates Free Speech Zones," by Samantha Harris, April 2, 2010
- "Universities’ Compliance with Speech Code Decisions Leaves Much to Be Desired ," by Erica Goldberg, September 24, 2009
- "Remembering September 11 and the Freedoms that Make Us Americans," by Samantha Harris, September 11, 2008: On the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation, FIRE joins the rest of the country in remembering those who were lost. As we look back on that day, it is important that we also remind ourselves of the importance of the freedoms that make this country what it is, and that we commit ourselves to defending those freedoms when they are threatened. As those who follow FIRE's work well know, those freedoms continue to be threatened on campuses across the country. For example, San Francisco State University (SFSU) recently suspended its students' right to hold outdoor protests—which the College Republicans reported was preventing them from holding a 9/11 memorial they had planned for today. Thankfully, SFSU retracted the ban on Monday after the Alliance Defense Fund demanded that SFSU uphold its students' First Amendment right of assembly. As we look back today on the events of September 11, 2001, let's all commit ourselves anew to appreciating and defending the freedoms that make America such an incredible country.
- "Victory at San Francisco State, But Serious Concerns Remain," by Luke Sheahan, September 9, 2008
- "San Francisco State University Puts Indefinite Hold on Outdoor Protests," by Luke Sheahan, September 8, 2008
- "Victory over San Francisco State University’s Unconstitutional Speech Codes," by Emily Guidry, March 4, 2008
- "SFSU: Another Speech Code Falls," by Samantha Harris, November 8, 2007
- "Students who ‘desecrated’ terrorist flags vindicated,"
World Net Daily, November 9, 2007