FIRE celebrates its 10th anniversary tonight in New York City. David French, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, will be in attendance. Through the years, FIRE has been a stalwart advocate for the constitutional rights of students, faculty and staff on America’s college and university campuses. On several occasions ADF has been blessed to team up with FIRE to restore constitutional protections on campus.
In 2006, as a part of its speech code litigation project, FIRE assisted students at San Francisco State University as they faced a student conduct investigation after holding an anti-terrorism rally on campus. SFSU administrators used a speech code that applied to every California State University campus to investigate the students for being “uncivil.” FIRE’s efforts resulted in SFSU dropping the charges. ADF later filed suit on behalf of these students and secured an injunction against the Cal State speech code.
In 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rendered one of the first appellate decisions addressing a university speech code. DeJohn v. Temple University is now the standard bearer for the constitutionality of student harassment policies. ADF and FIRE collaborated on the DeJohn litigation, and its principles have led to injunctions against similar speech codes in California, Pennsylvania and Washington.
It has been our privilege to partner with FIRE in these and other efforts. Indeed, some of our own staff have worked for FIRE in the past.
As all of FIRE’s staff prepare for and enjoy tonight’s celebration, we congratulate them on 10 great years and wish them many more successful years protecting liberty on campus.