University ends its restrictive campus speech policies after a group of students from the lawsuit

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst ended with a speech policy after a libertarian student group’s lawsuit claimed that it was “unconstitutional.”

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst changed restrictive campus speech policies that a libertarian student group called “unconstitutional,” put an end to a months-long legal battle.

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) at UMass and student Nicholas Consolini, represented by the legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, filed a lawsuit in January in the district court against the public university for a rule that limited “speeches, and rallies” to less than one percent of the campus and only between the afternoon and 1 hour per day on one side of the student union.

“The only permission slip students need to speak on the campus, the First Amendment,” ADF Legal Counsel Caleb Dalton said in a statement. “We commend YAL and these brave students for taking a stand, and the cause of UMass for the removal of this speech zone that never would have existed in the first place.”

University spokesperson Mary Dettloff told Fox News they showed the 30-year-old rule, because “it is rarely, if ever, enforced and can be interpreted as a limitation on free speech.”

YAL and Consolini voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit after the Board of Trustees of the changes in the voice-policy.

“Limiting the free expression of rights to one hour per day, less than 1 percent of the campus is unconstitutional, no questions,” YAL President Cliff Maloney Jr. said in a statement. “I applaud the UMass Board of directors for their decision and hope that this change will spur a wave of policy reform at universities throughout the country.”

YAL has pursued other colleges than similar speech policy.

Caleb Parke is an associate editor for You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke

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