Thursday, April 28, 2016

Christian Group Sues Challenging University's Speech Permit Policy

A Christian student organization at North Carolina State University this week filed suit against University officials challenging the school's Speech Permit Policy that requires students to obtain prior written permission before distributing leaflets or soliciting passersby. According to the complaint (full text) in Grace Christian Life v. Woodson, (ED NC, filed 4/26/2016), Grace Christian Life's members and staff initiate conversations with students about religion. These conversations take place in and around the Student Union. University officials informed the group that the University's Speech Permit Policy applies to these conversations. Plaintiffs allege that the Policy has not been similarly enforced against other groups, and contends that the policy and its enforcement infringe Christian Life's 1st and 14th Amendment rights. the Raleigh News & Observer, reporting on the case, quotes University officials as claiming that the suit is "frivolous and without merit."