Modesto Junior College bans ‘free speech’ zones after Constitution Day incident

Modesto Junior CollegeModesto Junior College has decided to scrap its “free speech” zones on campus as part of the settlement to a lawsuit against the school for banning him from passing out free copies of the United States Constitution on campus back in September.

According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the Modesto, Calif. college agreed Tuesday to suspend its enforcement of the free speech zone while it negotiates a settlement to the lawsuit filed by student Robert Van Tuinen. A joint stipulation filed in federal district court by attorneys for both the school and Van Tuinen states that the parties have agreed on several revisions to the college’s “free speech policy and procedures.” The stipulation is pending final approval by the Yosemite Community College District, which is expected to come next Spring.

“FIRE welcomes this development as a sign that Modesto Junior College is making important progress towards bringing its policies in line with the First Amendment,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said in a statement. “Today, Robert Van Tuinen and over 17,000 fellow students and faculty members may exercise their First Amendment rights without being confined to a free speech zone or required to register in advance.”

Van Tuinen filed the suit back in October in federal court against the school and the YCCD in response to the Sept. 17 incident, claiming that the two entities had violated Van Tuinen’s First Amendment right to free speech, as well as the right to free speech guaranteed by the Constitution of the state of California, and that they had failed to adequately train its employees about the constitutional rights of students. Van Tuinen requested than an injunction be put in place banning the college from enforcing its existing speech code, as well as monetary damages to be determined by the court. 

“I was really hoping that MJC would realize its mistakes after receiving media attention and public outcry,” Van Tuinen said in a statement released by Young Americans for Liberty back in October. “Unfortunately, they did not, so I realized that taking legal action was necessary to protect my rights and other students’ rights.”

According to footage provided by FIRE, Van Tuinen was handing out the pocket constitutions when a campus police officer told him he needed to get prior permission to do so and could only distribute them in a specific area on campus known as the “free speech” zone. The college released a statement on its Facebook page the following week announcing that it would look into the incident.

Comments

Polititainment

Ted Cruz loves 'The Simpsons'

Ted Cruz really likes "The Simpsons." The Republican presidential candidate detailed his fandom during an interview on The Federalist Radio Hour Thursday, spotlighting two of his favorite episodes of the cartoon television series.

Rubio asked to 'spit rap lyrics'

Marco Rubio, friend of Pitbull, fan of explicit 90s rap lyrics and Nick Minaj, and 2016 presidential candidate, has sadly declined an offer to perform his lyric-spitting talents on live TV.

Gwyneth Paltrow quits food stamps

According to the New York Post's Page Six, the actress has already dumped the food stamps challenge she agreed to last week, binging on two gourmet dinners in one night.

Maher: Obama should be a better bragger

The host of HBO's "Real Time" labeled the $1 million he donated to a pro-Obama Super PAC in 2012 -- an amount he won't ever give in support of Hillary Clinton -- a "great investment," commending the president on his accomplishments.

Tiny child weeps over Hillary 2016

When Hillary Clinton announced her presidential campaign yesterday, you were probably devastated. So was tiny Zeke here.

t u

2016

Perry knocks 'young' GOP foes ahead of 2016

The possible 2016 contender during remarks to reporters in Nashua, New Hampshire, Thursday compared declared GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio to President Obama in order to illuminate why the young senators aren't yet the right leaders for the White House.

Jeb Bush: 'I don't need to go to Chipotle'

While munching and mingling with fellow Republicans at the Snow Shoe Club in Concord, New Hampshire, Bush was asked whether he frequents the fast-food chain Chipotle, at which Hillary Clinton was photographed purchasing lunch earlier this week in Maumee, Ohio.

Cruz, Rubio, Santorum on attending a gay wedding

Which 2016 candidates--declared or otherwise--would attend the gay marriage of a loved one?

Hillary's 'Scooby' van is handicapped

No, Hillary Clinton is not handicapped at the ripe age of 67. However, that didn't stop the Democratic candidate for president from apparently sticking her "Scooby" van in a handicap parking spot while stopping at a cafe in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Thursday.

Hillary Clinton attacks CEO pay

The now-official Democratic candidate sent an e-mail to supporters following her campaign announcement that lamented the fact that regular Americans currently face economic difficulties "when the average CEO makes about 300 times what the average worker makes"

Policy

The TSA trained Disney World, SeaWorld

Disneyland, where dreams come true and TSA-trained employees are watching your every yawn and fidget and marking you down as a possible terrorist.

Marijuana: Not just for stoners any more

The media always loves to accompany stories about marijuana policy with bad puns and pictures of stoners.

Cruz, Rubio, Santorum on attending a gay wedding

Which 2016 candidates--declared or otherwise--would attend the gay marriage of a loved one?

Poll: Millennials financially optimistic

Crippling college debt aside, young people are feeling pretty good about their prospects of late.

Grassley: VA wrongly putting vets on gun ban list

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is demanding the Justice Department account for the fact that a “disproportionate” share of those on a “mental defective” gun ban list are veterans.