Texas lawmaker plans to sue university over cancelled speech
A state lawmaker plans to sue Texas Southern University after his appearance on campus was shut down by a heckler’s veto.
As Campus Reform reported October 10, Republican State Rep. Briscoe Cain was set to speak on campus, but the event had to be cancelled before it had even begun after protesters descended upon the venue and shouted over Cain.
While campus police initially attempted to intervene, the school’s president, Austin Lane, allowed the chaos to ensue, saying Cain’s speech was an “unapproved event.”
Now, according to The Dallas Morning News, Cain plans to file suit against the university for willfully obstructing his First Amendment rights.
“In the last few days the truth has begun to be made evident: the TSU administration shut me down because I’m a conservative,” Cain remarked. “This kind of viewpoint discrimination must not be tolerated.”
The Morning News reports that Cain plans to hire attorney Jerad Najvar, naming the university and its president as defendants.
While TSU said it “cannot comment at this time” since it has yet to see the lawsuit, it previously defended its cancellation of the event because the student group hosting Cain allegedly didn’t go through the “appropriate channels.”
Cain, however, claims that he was “greeted by campus officials, given a guest parking voucher, and brought into a room in which the administration had specifically requested the talk occur,” leading him to conclude that the talk had been shut down based solely on his conservative identity.
“Originally, that was off the table. We thought maybe they had legitimate grounds but over the last few days we are finding that they’re not legitimate grounds, that this was a precept—that the reason they shut us down was purely based on my identity and the identity of the students,” he recently told Fox Business, adding that “this is just part of the trend, that conservatives are being shouted down on college campuses.”
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