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AG Sessions: Re-commitment To Free Speech Long Overdue

28 September 2017

The Department of Justice will begin involving itself in lawsuits regarding the free speech rights of college students, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington on Tuesday.

SESSIONS: Absolutely not. The President of the United States has free speech.

Mr. Sessions criticized universities that have formal conduct policies that he said stifle free speech.

But in a question-and-answer session, Session said that he agrees with Trump and that "it's a big mistake" for NFL players to protest police brutality against African-Americans by kneeling during the national anthem.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonpartisan organization that helps litigate some campus free-speech cases, cheered the administration's interest in free speech. He then added, "it's not a contradiction".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday spoke with Fox & Friends hosts about the ongoing debate over free speech, but swiftly contradicted himself as soon as the hosts broached the topic of National Football League protests.

The Department of Justice will get more involved in free speech cases on college campuses, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday on "Fox and Friends". We're law students. We all just wanted to hear what he had to say and let him know where we differ from his opinions.

"No place in the country should we have more robust discussion than on college campuses", said Sessions, referencing his visit to Georgetown Law School where he had spoken on the same topic a day earlier.

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After Sessions finished his initial remarks, 10 students who were wearing #BlackLivesMatter shirts inside the auditorium stood up and placed tape over their mouths and silently protested the rest of the event.

Meanwhile, outside the lecture hall, protestors condemned Sessions as a "snowflake" for effectively carving out a "safe space" for himself by not allowing dissenters to attend the lecture.

The Attorney General also strongly defended the president for speaking out on the issue.

Well, universities across the United States, hospital administrators and violent protesters have made it hard, sometimes impossible, for dissident students, those who disagree with the prevailing views, to say what they think in public.

It seemed like they were rescinding those invites because they didn't want any sort of hostile environment, and I can understand not wanting to have a violent environment, but that's not at all what we were trying to do.

'Particularly on a college campus!

In a statement released ahead of Sessions' appearance, faculty members of Georgetown Law School drew a clear distinction between their opposition to Sessions' remarks, and their support of his right to make them. You know the veto by the heckler who threatens to protest and disrupt the speech so the college may withdraw the speaker's invitation so they won't be a disturbance. But organizers canceled the week's events.

At one point, the attorney general compared mask-wearing activists who were attempting to shut down an event at Middlebury College to members of the the Ku Klux Klan, even though one could argue they were exercising their First Amendment rights.

AG Sessions: Re-commitment To Free Speech Long Overdue