Colorado just banned ‘free speech zones’ on campus

The Colorado Independent: Maybe you went to a candidate rally on a Colorado university campus this campaign season and spotted a sign with an arrow directing you to a designated “free speech area.”

As of next fall semester, on Colorado’s public university campuses, those areas roping off the First Amendment will be no more.

Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, just signed a bipartisan law granting free speech rights across all campuses— not restricted to particular areas, which has been the current practice.

The law defines freedom of expression as speaking, picketing, carrying a sign, or distributing material, and allows people the right to do so freely throughout public university campuses. Voter registration drives also count as free speech. Speech  for commercial purposes, like trying to sell stuff, doesn’t.

Universities are still allowed to set some limitations, though. The law says, for instance, they can determine “reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions” for pickets, protests or demonstrations so they don’t interfere with classes.

The new law also does something else: It allows students the right to sue someone for attorneys’ fees and damages if they believe their free speech rights were violated on campus.

Visit The Colorado Independent for more.

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