Sessions on Campus Free Speech: There Is a Bias Against Conservative Speech

Joy Montgomery
September 28, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday accused American college campuses of being echo chambers of "political correctness and homogeneous thought" and undermining free speech rights, at the same time defending President Donald Trump's vociferous criticisms of National Football League players' protests over the weekend.

Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Tucker Carlson Tonight", Attorney General Jeff Sessions elaborated on the Department of Justice's initiative to take on public institutions that have placed limits on the freedom of speech.

During his talk, Sessions railed against what is known as the heckler's veto, where a person asserting their free-speech rights is silenced because hecklers reacting to the speech became violent. As Sessions himself said, "In this great land, the government does not get to tell you what to think or what to say".

For some, Sessions's words struck an ironic chord, as it follows Trump's open condemnation of NFL players kneeling in protest during the national anthem. "In effect, they coddle it and encourage it". He then added, "it's not a contradiction".

Ahead of the event, more than 30 faculty members also signed a letter condemning the attorney general's hypocrisy for speaking about free speech days after the President suggested players who kneel during America's national anthem should be fired. "We will enforce federal law, defend free speech and protect students' free expression from whatever end of the spectrum it may come".

Additionally, our source tells us that numerous law students who were formally invited to attend the speech, were later disinvited to attend the event.

Sessions spoke to an invitation-only crowd at Georgetown University's law school.

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A spokesman for Boise State University told The Chronicle that the policy mentioned by Mr. Sessions, "specifically recognizes, in its very first section, that 'students enjoy the same freedoms of speech, peaceful assembly, and right of petition that all citizens enjoy'". They placed tape across their mouths and sat down.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was the topic of a White House dinner hosted by President Donald Trump Monday night, reports said. "When the debaters attempted to move to a private broadcasting location, the protesters - many in masks, a common tactic also used by the detestable Ku Klux Klan - pulled fire alarms, surrounded the speakers, and began physically assaulting them".

"I do", Sessions responded.

Sessions's own campus visit Tuesday was in a controlled environment.

Highlighting the fact that the Justice Department is now prosecuting a woman for laughing during Sessions' confirmation hearing, the professors argued that "t$3 his kind of government chilling of speech is precisely what the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is meant to prevent". But organizers canceled the week's events.

"In my view, the flag of the United States is a unique object, and prohibiting its desecration will not in any fundamental way alter the free expression of ideas in this country", he said at the time, in support of a proposed constitutional amendment outlawing the practice. Given limited capacity, she said, the school's policy has held that the hosting organization determines the guest list.

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