Free speech or hate speech?

David Blake
August 21, 2017 - 3:46 pm
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How does a university decide when to ban a guest for promoting hate from others who might be just as confrontational?  

LSU has told white nationalist Richard Spencer, he isn't welcomed on campus touching off a controversy over free speech.  

It has many folks asking where is the line between freedom of speech and hate speech.  Stephen Griffin is a Professor of Constitutional Law at Tulane University.  He says a banned speaker could go to court, but the violence in Charlottesville could be a big factor in this case.

''Where we just had a situation that turned violent, which associated directly with Mr. Spencer, I would have to believe judges will give LSU leeway because the rule is not absolute,'' said Griffin.

Griffin says private universities would have more leeway keeping groups away but public universities like LSU could be walking a fine line. 

''Private schools are in a completely different situation, so LSU might be a little more at risk for legal liability.'' Griffin said. 

Griffin also says safety for the students is going to be of ultimate concern adding that parents will be watching carefully.
 

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