Tags: jeff sessions | suppression | free speech | campuses

Sessions: 'Too Much Suppression of Free, Open Speech' on Campuses

(Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight")

By    |   Tuesday, 26 Sep 2017 09:24 PM

The Justice Department is ramping up its support for students who sue universities claiming their free-speech rights have been violated — including conservatives "who've been silenced in many ways," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday.

In an interview on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Sessions elaborated on a DOJ effort he unveiled to an invitation-only crowd earlier Tuesday at Georgetown University's law school.

"Too much suppression of free and open speech on college campuses today," Sessions said. "Particularly conservatives being silenced in many ways.

"Controversial speakers are being blocked. You have the veto by the heckler, who threatens to protest and disrupt the speech so the college may withdraw the speaker's invitation so they won't be a disturbance. These kinds of things really threaten the entire educational system in my view, the integrity of it."

"We have a heritage of free speech," he continued. "It's in our Constitution, it's deeply embedded in our whole approach to life and we need to push back so we are going to push back."

Sessions said the focus will be on "public institutions."

"Thirty-three percent of public institutions have some sort of speech codes that constrict freedom of speech as I think most people would define it under the First Amendment," he said. "This is a troubling trend."

"We want to call out and talk to college presidents, deans, faculties … trustees to say 'make sure that you are not discriminating in any way against people's right to speak or discriminating against them academically or otherwise if they have the courage to defend their beliefs.'"

Sessions also weighed in on the NFL protests during the national anthem that have swept the league — and drawn the ire of President Donald Trump, and criticism of him for violating the players' free speech rights.

"The president of the United States has free speech," Sessions told Carlson. "He believes, and I believe, that people should take a moment before a football game and stand up when the national anthem is played."

"They have all kinds of ways to express their own opinions, but I think every American, no matter what their views on the issues, should stand for America, should salute the flag," he added. "I think otherwise we don't have the kind of nation that is healthy."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The Justice Department is ramping up its support for students who sue universities claiming their free-speech rights have been violated — including conservatives "who've been silenced in many ways," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday.
jeff sessions, suppression, free speech, campuses
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2017-24-26
Tuesday, 26 Sep 2017 09:24 PM
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