Univ. of Michigan changes speech policies after DOJ lawsuit

The University of Michigan changed its speech policies Tuesday, one day after the Trump administration weighed in on a federal lawsuit alleging the school unfairly trampled on students’ First Amendment rights.

On Monday, the Department of Justice filed a statement of interest accusing the Ann Arbor school of imposing a “system of arbitrary censorship of, and punishment for, constitutionality protected speech.”

The Justice Department’s motion was in support of a May lawsuit against the school by Speech First, a free speech advocacy group. Speech First alleged the University Michigan’s Bias Response Team, which responds to reports of any speech a listener finds “bothersome” or “hurtful.”

Since April 2017, the Bias Response Team has investigated more than 150 incidents and removed flyers, posters and even erased whiteboards, according to the lawsuit.

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