Tags: Education | Religion | christian group | sues | north carolina university | free speech

NC University Sued by Christian Group on Free-Speech Issue

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By    |   Friday, 01 Jul 2016 07:06 PM

A Christian student group at North Carolina State University has sued over the college's policy that requires members to obtain a permit to talk to students about Jesus.

The group, Grace Christian Life, has filed the lawsuit in federal district court, Fox News reports.

The action claims that the university, based in Raleigh, prohibited student outreach efforts on campus because of its "Speech Permit Policy."

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed the lawsuit, called the policy unconstitutional, Fox reports. The university has about 35,000 students and Grace Christian Life has long been a recognized student organization.

"We believe that the only permit a student needs to speak on college campuses is the First Amendment," ADF attorney Tyson Langhofer told Fox.

The university was blocked last month from imposing the policy by Chief U.S. District Judge James Dever III.

North Carolina State was to respond by Friday to the alliance's request for a permanent injunction against Grace's evangelism activities pending a final ruling, Fox reports.

In the original complaint, filed in April, Langhofer contended that the school's policy essentially amounted to a "prior restraint" violation of the First Amendment.

The policy requires "written permission of Student Involvement in advance" for all groups or individuals involved in non-commercial solicitation" on university property, Fox reports. Violators could face sanctions, even criminal prosecution.

Since the policy outlines no timeline for granting or denying permission, any indefinite delay could be akin to denial, Langhofer argued.

A North Carolina State spokesman declined to comment, but provided Fox News with a statement from Chancellor Randy Woodson.

He said the university considered time, place and manner when reviewing permit requests for logistical reasons to ensure its "primary mission of teaching [its] students."

"This lawsuit is without merit; the implication that an organization has been treated differently on our campus because they are a religious group is false," Woodson said.

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A Christian student group at North Carolina State University has sued over the college's policy that requires members to obtain a permit to talk to students about Jesus.
christian group, sues, north carolina university, free speech
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2016-06-01
Friday, 01 Jul 2016 07:06 PM
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