By Thomas K. Lindsay
A wave of support for legislative efforts to restore free speech and debate on campus appears to be taking shape in a number of states across the country.
As reported on the website of the Goldwater Institute, Nebraska recently became the latest state to consider “legislation to restore free speech on college campuses” when Nebraska State Senator Steve Halloran introduced the Higher Education Free Speech Accountability Act. The legislation being considered is itself drawn from Goldwater’s model bill, titled, “Campus Free Speech: A Legislative Proposal,” crafted last year by Stanley Kurtz, James Manley, and Jonathan Butcher. Commenting on the proposed Nebraska bill, Goldwater’s senior attorney, Manley, predicted, “Should this new bill become law, it would create greater accountability regarding the preservation of free speech rights for all on NU [University of Nebraska] campuses.”
The Goldwater model bill recommends a number of measures designed to “encourage students and administrators to respect and protect the free expression of others.” Among the recommended measures are the following: Creation of an official university policy that “strongly affirms” the centrality of free speech and debate in fulfilling a university’s defining mission—teaching and learning. In the process, it would eliminate any “existing restrictive speech codes” currently on a school’s books. It would prevent administrators from issuing “dis-invitations” to speakers “whom members of the campus community wish to hear from.” CONTINUE READING HERE