College First Amendment roundup: Lawsuits filed to stop Florida free speech survey

A federal district judge found some grounds for a First Amendment challenge of a new Florida law mandating annual surveys of political beliefs at public colleges, passed by conservative lawmakers to ensure “freedom and viewpoint diversity.” (24 News, April 12, 2022, by Zachary Rogers)

Drake Brignac in the Reveille, April 14, 2022, claims that when the Louisiana State University student Election Commission struck the F— word from the name of a ticket, they were striking a blow against the First Amendment.

The Ohio legislature is enacting a law allowing students and professors to write, teach or talk about issues with impunity. The law requires public institutions to adopt policies affirming the principles of free speech and to establish processes for complaints. (KPVI, April 13, 2022, by J.D. Davidson)

An anti-abortion group opted not to revisit the Columbus State campus in Georgia after students protested against the group’s use of graphic imagery to discourage abortions. (News 19, April 2, 2022, by Hannah Jones)

University of Houston students are suing on First Amendment grounds to block a new anti-discrimination policy that prohibits harassment of a “Protected Class.” Violations that could result in disciplinary action include “[m]inor verbal and nonverbal slights, snubs, annoyances, insults, or isolated incidents including, but not limited to microaggressions.” (The Texan, March 29, 2022, by Holly Hansen)

The Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the University of Alabama in its contention that a campus sidewalk was a limited public forum and that a preacher must then obtain a permit to spread the gospel. (Alabama Education Lab, March 25, 2022, by Ruth Serven Smith)

The Georgia legislature is considering a law banning free speech zones and allowing students to invite controversial speakers. If counter protests become too loud and persistent, law enforcement could intervene. (CBS 46 News, March 24, 2022, by Hayley Mason)

Virginia Tech students who oppose the Black Lives Matter movement, gay marriage and the use of certain pronouns by transgender persons are suing the university for its policies that they say chill their free speech. (The Roanoke Times, January 15, 2022, by Laurence Hammack)