Trump to sign campus free speech executive order

By Aaron Rice
March 4, 2019

President Donald Trump announced over the weekend that he will soon be signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech in exchange for federal funding.

Trump made the announcement to an audience of conservative activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference gathering outside of Washington, D.C.

“We reject oppressive speech codes, censorship, political correctness, and every other attempt by the hard left to stop people from challenging ridiculous and dangerous ideas. These ideas are dangerous,” Trump said. “Instead, we believe in free speech. Including online and including on campus.”

Campus free speech have been born out of recent examples of speakers being disinvited because of campus protests, the creation of small “free speech zones,” and/ or restrictive speech codes.

Legislation has been moving at the state level for several years, and to date 10 states have adopted some form of campus free speech protections. This includes two of Mississippi’s neighbors, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Similar legislation was introduced in both the House and the Senate, but both of those bills died early in the session without a vote.

Still, such legislation is widely popular in Mississippi. According to new polling from Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, 83 percent of Mississippi voters support a law that “would protect speech for all college students, even if others disagree with their point of view.”

This law has broad public support in every corner of the state. Seventy-eight percent of Democrats, 88 percent of Republicans, and 80 percent of independents support the law.


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