RALEIGH, N.C. – A federal court Saturday ordered a halt to North Carolina State University’s policy that requires a permit for nearly any kind of non-commercial student speech or communication anywhere on campus. The order came only two days after a hearing at which Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys asked the court to halt the policy after the university told members of a Christian student group that they needed a permit to speak with other students in the student union. The university did not require other student groups to obtain such permit.
“Because the only permit required for free speech on a public university campus is the First Amendment, we welcome the court’s decision to put a stop to NC State’s policy,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer. “NC State is acting inconsistently with its own calling as a marketplace of ideas with this unconstitutional restriction on free speech. Students of any political, religious, or ideological persuasion should be able to freely and peacefully speak with their fellow students about their views without interference from government officials who may prefer one view over another.”
ADF-allied attorney Edmund LaCour of Bancroft PLLC, who is serving as co-counsel in the lawsuit,Grace Christian Life v. Woodson, argued before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in favor of the preliminary injunction that the court granted. The injunction prohibits the university from enforcing its policy against the non-commercial speech of students and their guests in most situations while the lawsuit moves forward in court.