May 3, 2019
A Real Free Speech Movement 

President Trump has never bowed down to political correctness. In fact, it was one of the reasons why he won the Presidency. In that same spirit, he recently issued an executive order to force higher education institutions to comply with the Constitutional right to free speech. The order explained, “Free inquiry is an essential feature of our Nation’s democracy, and it promotes learning, scientific discovery, and economic prosperity.” It goes on to enforce this notion by pulling a university’s research grant money if they refuse to comply.

Ironically, liberal university administrators are saying that this action is “unconstitutional”. They believe that free speech does not belong on college campuses. These same administrators are designating “safe spaces” and disinviting Conservative speakers so that they can control what students think and say. They are indoctrinating future leaders of our society.

This is a wide-spread problem that has heightened in recent years. Campuses are not only failing at facilitating free speech, but actively suppressing this right. Alliance Defending Freedom has litigated 385 cases of free speech infringement and have won every case. Yet, many other colleges still have not taken heed.

The President’s executive order was very timely. Congress is currently working on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) which would outline the federal government’s role in colleges and universities for the next ten years. The HEA includes language that encourages institutions to “facilitate the free and open exchange of ideas” but does not include any enforcement mechanism. Just like the executive order puts colleges’ federal research funding on the line, there is additional federal funding that could be pulled, such as student loans, to enforce our freedoms.

Eagle Forum joined a coalition letter lead by the National Association of Scholars encouraging Congress to add free speech protections to the Higher Education Act. We are actively working with the White House and Congressional members to continue this initiative.