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Federal Funding and Campus Free Speech: A Proposal

Through direct and indirect legal mechanisms, the First Amendment and freedom of speech have long applied to the lion’s share of America’s colleges and universities. Similarly, the Higher Education Act has long included language affirming the centrality to colleges and universities of our First Amendment rights. Private secular colleges that wish to exempt themselves from traditional free speech norms are free to reject federal aid. The American taxpayer is under no obligation to subsidize speech codes, speaker disinvitations, or shout-downs. It’s past time that Congress took steps to ensure that taxpayer dollars no long underwrite campus assaults on freedom of speech.

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