Justice Department Lays Down the Law on ‘Unconstitutional’ University of Michigan Speech Policies

The Justice Department has filed court papers against the University of Michigan in a lawsuit alleging the school’s speech policies violate students’ free speech rights.

Following through on a priority of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department  statement of interest filed Monday alleges that the University of Michigan has an “unconstitutional” statement of student rights and responsibilities. The university was sued in May by the nonprofit Speech First, which promotes free speech.

“The United States’ Statement of Interest argues that the University of Michigan’s Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which prohibits ‘harassment,’ ‘bullying,’ and ‘bias,’ is unconstitutional because it offers no clear, objective definitions of the violations,” the Justice Department asserted. “Instead, the Statement refers students to a wide array of ‘examples of various interpretations that exist for the terms,’ many of which depend on a listener’s subjective reaction to speech.”

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