A Christian group at North Carolina State University (NC State) won a substantial legal victory, as the university agreed to revise a speech code that blocked them from talking to fellow students without a permit.
Until now, NC State’s speech policy included a provision stating that groups had to obtain a permit prior to approaching students, whether it’s for commercial or non-commercial speech.
Grace Christian Life sued the school in April, arguing the policy was selectively enforced in order to keep the group from handing out fliers or inviting students to upcoming events. The group claimed they were first ordered to obtain a permit, and then after doing so, they were told they could only speak with other students if they remained behind a table set up by the group.
NC State defended the permit process, saying it was necessary for maintaining safety and order on campus. (RELATED: NC State Warns That ‘Land Of Opportunity’ Is A Microaggression)
But just three months later, NC State gave in, adopting a new speech policy that completely eliminates the permit requirement for non-commercial speech.
The settlement comes a month after Judge James Dever granted a preliminary injunction against NC State’s speech policy, finding that Grace Christian Life was very likely to succeed in its challenge.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that backed the lawsuit, lauded the outcome in a statement.
“Students of any religious, political, or ideological persuasion should be able to freely and peacefully speak with their fellow students about their views without interference from university officials who may prefer one view over another,” the group said in a statement. “NC State did the right thing in revising its policy to reflect this instead of continuing to defend its previous policy, which was not constitutionally defensible.”
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