With unexpected bipartisan unanimity, a Colorado Senate committee advanced a bill last week that would lift free speech restrictions at Colorado’s public colleges and universities.
Senate Bill 62, sponsored by Senator Tim Neville and Representative Stephen Humphrey, seeks to guarantee free speech on college campuses by disallowing certain restrictions that schools have begun placing on expressive activities, particularly so-called ‘free speech zones’ that limit public expression to designated areas of campus.
The bill “prohibits public institutions of higher education from restricting a student’s constitutional right to speak in any way in a public forum, including speaking verbally, holding a sign, or distributing flyers or materials.”
The bill also stipulates that “a public institution of higher education shall not impose unreasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of student speech that occurs in a public forum and is protected by the First Amendment,” adding that “court actions for violations of the provisions of the bill are allowed and include recovery of reasonable court costs and attorney fees.”
Notably, SB 62 also states explicitly that “public institutions of higher education are prohibited from designating any area on campus as a free sp…
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