Monday, February 18, 2019

Kentucky GOP backing free speech bill aimed at universities

A Republican-backed bill that would prohibit limited “free speech zones” on Kentucky’s college campuses wouldn’t apply to Western Kentucky University, which doesn’t follow the practice.

Under Senate Bill 117, Kentucky’s public universities and colleges would be required to adopt policies granting students and faculty “the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, learn and discuss any issue.”

The legislation is sponsored by a group of Republican lawmakers including state Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green.

Among other provisions, SB 117 would also prohibit students and faculty from “substantially” obstructing or interfering with “the freedom of others to express views they reject so that a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation is promoted.”

College campuses would also have to commit to maintaining “a marketplace of ideas where the free exchange of ideas is not suppressed because an idea put forth is considered by some or even most of the members of the institution’s community to be offensive, unwise, disagreeable, conservative, liberal, traditional, or radical,” the bill’s text reads.

Some of the bill’s provisions, such as a ban on disinviting guest speakers to campus based on the content of their speech, are already prohibited under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, college administrators cannot arbitrarily decide which speakers students are allowed to invite to campus.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Liberals want freedom of speech only for speech which agrees with their agenda.