WSJ: Responding to the Bias Response Team

Bias Reporting Systems

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently promised to be “vigilant” in defending free-speech rights on campus, and last week the Justice Department followed through by scoring the University of Michigan for chilling speech.

Justice filed a statement of interest, similar to an amicus brief, siding with Speech First, a nonprofit that has sued the school on behalf of its student members. Justice says the university’s policies and practices “ban a broad swath of core protected speech based solely on ‘listeners’ reaction.’”

Speech First’s lawsuit takes issue with the university’s student code, which prohibits bullying and harassment but with only vague definitions of both. The university also operates a Bias Response Team, to which students can submit complaints accusing peers and professors of “bias incidents” that violate no law.

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