Embarrassing Persistence of Campus Speech Codes

Talk about an "embarrassment."

In the late 1980s, numerous colleges and universities designed and adopted speech codes to curtail racist and other discriminatory speech. You can’t say they weren’t provoked. The University of Michigan, for example, adopted its code in the wake of a number of incidents including the distribution of fliers peppered with disgusting racial slurs that declared an “open season” on blacks. But at least at public universities, which must respect the First Amendment as agents of the state, these speech codes have been constitutional losers.

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Embarrassing Persistence of Campus Speech Codes

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