During a speech at the Georgetown University Law Center on Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Department of Justice will become more involved in the “national recommitment to free speech on campus.” Citing recent incidents at community colleges in Battle Creek, Michigan and Los Angeles, California where students were arrested for or prohibited from handing out copies of the Constitution outside of designated “free speech zones,” Sessions said the DOJ will “enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students’ free expression from whatever end of the political spectrum it may come.”
Notably, Sessions gave the speech on the same day the DOJ fileda Statement of Interest [text] in a lawsuit related to “free speech zones” at Georgia Gwinnett College in Georgia. Sessions mentioned the filing in his speech, adding that similar filings could be expected in “the weeks and months to come.”
Sessions decried the actions of protesters, whom he referenced as part of an increasing “cottage industry” against free speech. He pointed to a recent incident at Middlebury College in Vermont, where students protesting a debate between a professor and Libertarian political scientist Charles Murray were successful in shutting the event down with protests that later turned violent. Sessions said colleges that acquiesce to protesters, including canceled events at Berkeley, Brown and Virginia Tech, were permitting “the heckler’s veto” to control decisions on the exchange of ideas.
As carried in jurist