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Alliance Defending Freedom appeals court decision clearing Arkansas State U. in free-speech spat

The conservative Alliance Defending Freedom is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that a new law in Arkansas gets college administrators off the hook in a free-speech spat with a student who was promoting her right-wing club.

Administrators at Arkansas State University kicked Ashlyn Hoggard and another student off a patio in front of the school’s student union and threatened her with violating the student code of conduct for promoting her Turning Point USA club there in 2017.

The lawsuit she then filed led the state’s legislature to pass the Forming Open and Robust University Minds (FORUM) Act which nullifies “speech zones” on the state’s college campuses.

A federal district court in Arkansas said the new state law will prevent any future infringement of free-speech rights and cleared the Arkansas State officials of any consequences.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian nonprofit, on behalf of Ms. Hoggard, is now appealing to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Public university officials shouldn’t be allowed to get off scot free after they have violated someone’s freedoms protected by the First Amendment,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jonathan Larcomb in a statement.

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