After 2-year legal battle, school lets student pass out copies of U.S. Constitution

After 2-year legal battle, school lets student pass out copies of U.S. Constitution
Image: National Archives

[Ed. – God forbid they should be permitted to familiarize themselves with the document this is the foundation of our system of laws.]

Pierce College student Kevin Shaw was handing out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution in November 2016 when an administrator told him that he would have to confine his activity to the school’s “free speech zone.” The school told Shaw that he would have to apply for access to the 616-square foot zone and that his failure to comply would result in his removal from campus.

After the incident, Shaw sued the school for violating his First Amendment rights with the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The Department of Justice then filed a statement in support of his case.

Pierce College filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in January 2018 but a California district court ultimately rejected the school’s assertion that the public campus was a “non-public forum.”

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On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Community College District agreed to settle the lawsuit, as well as to revoke the unconstitutional policy that recognized all campuses within the district as “non-public forums,” effectively removing free speech restrictions placed on 150,000 students, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

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