7. University of South Carolina

FIRE states:

Last February, USC student Ross Abbott and the campus chapters of Young Americans for Liberty and the College Libertarians filed a First Amendment lawsuit with FIRE’s assistance after Abbott was investigated for a free speech event for which the groups received prior approval.

In late 2015, the groups planned an event to draw attention to threats to free speech on campus. The event involved poster displays featuring examples of campus censorship across the country. Given that some of their posters included provocative words and symbols, the groups sought and obtained approval for the event ahead of time from USC’s director of campus life.

Despite these precautions, Abbott received a “Notice of Charges” the day after the event, demanding that he meet with the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs to respond to student complaints of “discrimination.” Several weeks after their meeting, the office dropped its investigation, but it provided no clarification on USC’s treatment of protected speech.


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About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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