Thursday, January 11, 2018

UT now imposing politically motivated de facto speech taxes (aka. "Security Fees")

"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly."
Proverbs 26:11

Today Young America’s Foundation (YAF) sent a letter to the University of Texas at Austin, demanding the immediate rescission of a viewpoint discriminatory “security fee” that University administrators levied on conservative students’ speech.

On November 14, 2017, the students of the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) partnered with Young America’s Foundation to bring United States Senator Rick Santorum to campus to talk about “moral governance.” The lecture itself was a tremendous success and students benefitted from an insightful dialogue with Senator Santorum.

However, UT-Austin is now sticking conservative students with a $654 invoice for the security services of five security officers. Why? According to University officials, this “security fee” was necessary because Senator Santorum is “high profile” and because of the “political climate.”

“School administrators may not impose varying security fees based on the community’s reaction to the content of speech. Doing so violates both the First and the Fourteenth Amendments,” said Spencer Brown, Spokesman for Young America’s Foundation. “This security fee reeks of viewpoint discrimination. The facts are clear – University officials arbitrarily levied a hefty security fee based on the content of Senator Santorum’s lecture. Equally clear is how the courts respond to such a practice.”
Furthermore, having been in attendance at this event, we will add that we only saw one UTPD officer there.  So it seems pretty far-fetched to claim that there was any sort of heightened security fears when no actions were taken at the time to quell them.  But that assumes this charge was made in good faith, and this is the UT politburo about which we're talking....

Bottom Line: Isn't this just typical?!?

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