UT volunteers to change speech policy – after lawsuit filed

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

Another college speech-code policy problem has been fixed as Alliance Defending Freedom has reached a settlement with the University of Tennessee.

John McGlone challenged UT's policy that required outside speakers to obtain "sponsorship" before being allowed to speak on campus. Jonathan Scruggs of Alliance Defending Freedom says his firm filed a lawsuit contending the policy was vague.


"And so [our client was] effectively shut out from engaging in any speech activities over a huge campus – and as anyone who's been to the University of Tennessee knows it's very large," says the ADF legal counsel.

"So we wrote a letter to the University of Tennessee saying this is really problematic, you shouldn't be allowed to do this. They refused to budge, and therefore we had to bring a lawsuit."

The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year issued a temporary injunction. This year, it issued a consent order which settles the case in favor of McClone.

"And now we've settled the case and the university has changed its policies, making them much clearer so that people can know what they have to do engage in free speech," Scruggs concludes.

The court had said McGlone had been given conflicting advice by two different UT administrators regarding what he needed to do to speak on campus.

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