By filing a 'statement of interest' in an upcoming court case involving "free speech zones" on campus.
“The American university was once the center of academic freedom,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in his speech at the Georgetown Law Center this week. It was “a place of robust debate, a forum for the competition of ideas.” But over the years it has become “an echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought, a shelter for fragile egos.
Sessions called for “a national recommitment to free speech on campus.” Administrators and faculty would defend free expression “boldly and unequivocally,” he said, and the Justice Department would do its part by enforcing federal law, defending free speech, and protecting “students’ free expression”—of all points of view.
As a demonstration of its intentions, the Justice Department has filed a “Statement of Interest” in a campus free speech case from Georgia Gwinnett College that is almost unpronounceable: Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski. At issue is the constitutionality of a school policy that limits student expressive activity to two very small “free-speech zones. Sessions said there would be more such filings, and a department officer confirmed that there would be a second next week.
Federal law provides for the not widely known Statement of Interest. It says that the attorney general may send any officer of the department to any state or federal district to attend to the interests of the United States in a suit pending in a federal or state court.