Texas Tech's 'Free-Speech Zones' Are Unconstitutional, Judge Rules
October 15, 2004
The Chronicle of Higher Education
A federal judge has struck down "free-speech zones" at Texas Tech University, ruling unconstitutional a requirement that students who wish to give speeches must stay within a designated area.
The case was brought by Jason Roberts, a law student who had sought to speak publicly about his view that "homosexuality is a sinful, immoral, and unhealthy lifestyle." He asked administrators for permission to give the speech outside the designated zone -- a 20-foot-wide gazebo that can hold about 40 people.
According to the lawsuit, officials turned down the request, saying that it was "the expression of a personal belief and thus is something more appropriate for the free-speech area, which is the gazebo area."
The lawsuit was supported by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an advocacy group that has fought speech zones at several colleges.
- Texas Tech's 'Free-Speech Zones' Are Unconstitutional, Judge Rules, PDF, 69.3 KB , The Chronicle of Higher Education