Education

Judge Tosses Out ‘Mere Conjecture’ Of Anti-Campus Carry Lawsuit

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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A judge tossed out an anti-campus carry lawsuit conducted by three Texas professors, saying it contained “no concrete evidence” and instead consisted of “mere conjecture,” according to a court document reported Saturday.

Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore, and Mia Carter, professors at the University of Texas at Austin, alleged that Texas’ campus carry law, which permits students 21 years old or older to carry a handgun on campus, violated their right to free speech, according to Campus Reform. Judge Lee Yeakel summarily refuted the legal basis of these claims in his decision filed Thursday.

“Plaintiffs ask the court to find standing based on their self-imposed censoring of classroom discussions caused by their fear of the possibility of illegal activity by persons not joined in this lawsuit,” said Yeakel, describing the professors’ complaint. “[The plaintiffs] present no concrete evidence to substantiate their fears, but instead rest on mere conjecture about possible … actions.”

“The court concludes that Plaintiffs have not established an injury-in-fact, nor that the alleged injury is traceable to any conduct of Defendants,” stated the judge, referring to Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, as well as Gregory L. Fenves, president of UT Austin and the school’s board of regents.

Renea Hicks, the professors’ attorney, said that Yeakel failed to address all claims made by the plaintiffs.

“We had other claims in the lawsuit beyond that—a Second Amendment claim, an equal protection claim,” she said to The Texas Tribune. “The order accompanying his dismissal doesn’t seem to address those issues, so there’s a bit of confusion on our part.”

Carter, one of the plaintiff professors, expressed similar concerns and also noted that she was disappointed but not shocked at Yeakel’s decision when speaking with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We will be conferring with our attorneys to consider the next steps,” said Carter to TheDCNF Saturday. “The fight for common sense gun laws in Texas and the U.S. will be a long-term battle with many fronts. Hopefully, there will be additional legal attempts to stop the normalization of lethal weapons in our shared public spaces. My colleagues and I have attempted to protect ourselves and our colleagues, our students, and the values and ideals of educational culture in this state’s public universities and colleges. We will forge on.”

“The court’s ruling today is the correct outcome,” said Paxton in a Friday press release. “The fact that a small group of professors dislike a law and speculate about a ‘chilling effect’ is hardly a valid basis to set the law aside.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Glass and Moore for comment, but received none in time for publication.

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