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Politics North Carolina Rep. Greg Murphy introduces campus free speech bill

19:10  17 june  2021
19:10  17 june  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Congress is considering a bill attempting to protect freedom of expression on college campuses.

Greg Murphy wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

Rep. Greg Murphy, a North Carolina Republican, the ranking member of the House’s Higher Education and Workforce Innovation subcommittee, introduced the Campus Free Speech Restoration Act of 2021 on Thursday.

“Every individual should be free to profess, and to maintain, the opinion of such individual in matters of religion or philosophy, and that professing or maintaining such opinion should in no way diminish, enlarge, or affect the civil liberties or rights of such individual on the campus of an institution of higher education,” reads the text of the bill, which Murphy’s office provided to the Washington Examiner.

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The bill amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 by putting greater scrutiny on colleges and universities to fulfill their First Amendment obligations in order to receive funding under Title IV of the Higher Education Act.

It condemns “free speech zones” that designate spaces on campus for protest and dialogue. Critics of the zones argue they are unconstitutional because they restrict First Amendment activity to only those specific places.

Bias response teams, a common feature on campuses that allow for students to report allegations of discrimination, broadly defined, also face scrutiny. They are “susceptible to abuses that may put them at odds with the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment,” the text reads.

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In 2019, the University of Michigan permanently dismantled its bias response team after a First Amendment lawsuit.

Murphy’s bill would create a position within the Department of Education that would record and remedy complaints of First Amendment violations on college campuses.

“Postsecondary institutions should be held accountable for any actions that restrict or intimidate the right to speak freely on campus,” Murphy said in a release obtained by the Washington Examiner that was given to students at Young America’s Foundation’s Buckley Breakfast Club.

Murphy attended the breakfast with Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, where he announced the initiative to conservative college students who attended the event.

In his release, Murphy cites multiple examples of “violating the First Amendment campuses nationwide,” including a physical assault on an anti-abortion student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2019 and a member of the University of Virginia student council receiving death threats for criticizing a system that gave “strikes” to professors for alleged racist behavior.

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CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

The bill’s introduction comes days after Jordan and Rep. Kat Cammack, a Florida Republican, partnered with YAF to create a Campus Free Speech Caucus in Congress.

Tags: News, Higher Education, Free Speech, First Amendment, North Carolina, Congress, Young Americas Foundation, College, academic freedom, House Freedom Caucus

Original Author: Charles Hilu

Original Location: North Carolina Rep. Greg Murphy introduces campus free speech bill

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