Heckler’s Veto at SUNY Binghamton May Have Violated First Amendment
From Tuesday’s decision in Young America’s Found. v. Stenger, by Judge Lawrence E. Kahn (N.D.N.Y.) (bold added):
[In late 2019, YAF and the SUNY Binghamton College Republicans organized a] lecture by renowned economist and presidential advisor Dr. Arthur Laffer titled “Trump, Tariffs, and Trade Wars” ….
On the day of the Laffer Event, YAF and College Republicans met with UPD [the University Police Department] and certain SUNY-Binghamton administrators. Stenger, Rose, and Pelletier were not present at the meeting, but the officials present were acting at their direction. At this meeting, UPD told YAF and College Republicans that UPD was aware of threats to disrupt the event by student and non-student groups. UPD criticized YAF and College Republicans for hosting a public, as opposed to private (ticketed) event.
Additionally, the SUNY-Binghamton administrators told YAF and College Republicans that they were unilaterally imposing two conditions on the Laffer Event. First, SUNY-Binghamton decided to increase the UPD police presence and move the event to a lecture hall with more readily available egress routes for Dr. Laffer, if needed. Second, SUNY-Binghamton provided College Progressives a lecture hall adjacent to the Laffer Event (and which had connecting doors to the event’s lecture hall) to protest. YAF and College Republicans objected to SUNY-Binghamton’s conditions, but the administrators refused to change their position. YAF and College Republicans also requested that SUNY-Binghamton announce in advance of the Laffer Event that its own written SUNY free speech policy required students and visitors to permit the Plaintiffs’ free speech, and they again sought assurances that if there was a disruption, UPD would remove the disruptor and not the speaker. The administrators refused to agree to make a public statement about its free speech policy or to provide any such assurances.
When Dr. Laffer and his aides arrived at a nearby airport, YAF and UPD greeted them. UPD informed Dr. Laffer that it had concerns about the Laffer Event and that the University would prefer that Dr. Laffer return to his plane and cancel the event. Although Dr. Laffer told UPD that he wanted to proceed with the event, UPD showed him
Article from Latest – Reason.com