ADF attorneys appeal ASU pro-life speech case to 9th Circuit

Arizona State University officials demand that pro-life club members purchase insurance before exercising free speech rights on campus
Wednesday, April 09, 2008

PHOENIX — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed an appeal Tuesday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on behalf of an Arizona State University pro-life club in a lawsuit challenging unlawful restrictions on their speech.

“Pro-life student groups shouldn’t have a price tag placed upon expression of their beliefs,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Heather Gebelin Hacker.  “Forcing any student group to pay for insurance in order to exercise their right to free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment is unconstitutional.”

In December 2005, members of ASU Students for Life submitted a request to display an exhibit on campus.  The exhibit, designed by the non-profit organization Justice for All, displayed different aspects of the pro-life viewpoint.  After ASU Students for Life attempted to reserve several speech zones in which to display the exhibit, ASU administration officials told the group that it would be restricted to just one zone, relenting only after receiving correspondence from ADF attorneys.

University officials insisted that the club obtain insurance in order to display the exhibit despite the lack of a written policy.  For a subsequent event in April 2006, ASU Students for Life was again required to obtain insurance even though this event only involved sitting at a table on campus and passing out literature.  ADF attorneys filed suit on behalf of the club three months later.

A copy of the notice of appeal to the 9th Circuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in ASU Students for Life v. Crow is available here.

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom defends religious freedom at America’s public universities.  ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation. 

www.telladf.org             www.centerforacademicfreedom.org