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Justice Department Lays Down the Law on ‘Unconstitutional’ University of Michigan Speech Policies

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice filed Monday a statement of interest against the University of Michigan in a lawsuit alleging the school’s speech policies violate students’ free speech rights.
The department alleges that the University of Michigan, which was sued in May by free speech nonprofit Speech First, has an “unconstitutional” statement of student rights and responsibilities.

“The United States’ Statement of Interest argues that the University of Michigan’s Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which prohibits ‘harassment,’ ‘bullying,’ and ‘bias,’ is unconstitutional because it offers no clear, objective definitions of the violations,” the department asserted. “Instead, the Statement refers students to a wide array of ‘examples of various interpretations that exist for the terms,’ many of which depend on a listener’s subjective reaction to speech.”
Sessions’ Justice Department also cited University of Michigan’s bias response team that, according to Speech First, has conducted over 150 investigations into allegations of bias over the past year.
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