The Government Supports Student Whose Free Speech Rights Were Infringed

The Department of Justice recently issued a statement expressing support of a legal claim made by a student of the Pierce College. The student was suing the college administration for barring him from circulating the U.S. constitution around the campus and to the Los Angeles Community College District. The student's law suit was based on the first amendment of the constitution- this part of the bill of rights entitles people to free speech.The Department of Justice states that Kevin Shaw, the plaintiff in this case, had adequately shown that his first amendment rights had been violated. The Department of Justice further held that the college's policies on speech were unconstitutional and a violation against free speech.Shaw's ArgumentAccording to Shaw, 27, the college violated his rights when he was prevented from distributing copies of the U.S. constitution just because he did not do it within the college's free speech zone. The free speech area is reserved for such activities.On behalf of the Justice Department, the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions reiterated that university faculty and officials are supposed to defend the right of free expression. In his statement, Sessions recalled that in the past he had promised to show commitment to free speech on campus and that he would ensure first amendment rights were protected. He said that the Justice Department would play its part by defending students' right to free expression.Free Speech Zones on CampusMany college campuses allow students and outsiders to organize protests, picket, or distribute fliers only in free speech zones. There are nine colleges in LACCD, the largest community college district in the U.S., serving over 150,000 students.According to Shaw's complaint, last November he tried to distribute copies of the Constitution translated in Spanish. He also attempted to recruit fresh members for the "Young American for Liberty" chapter, a libertarian-conservative organization.Shaw claims that an administrator at the school told him that he was not permitted to distribute pamphlets outside the free speech zone, a small section of the 426 acre school. If he failed to comply with these regulations, the administrator told him that he would have to leave the college.The first amendment is one of the foundation stones of the U.S. constitution. This section protects the rights of people to engage in any religion and believe in what they want. The amendment also guarantees the freedom of expression and one's right to protest against the government.


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