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Arkansas State University seeks delay in free speech lawsuit

Arkansas State University attorneys want a freedom of speech lawsuit against the university to be delayed (Photo: Arkansas State University)

Arkansas State University attorneys want a freedom of speech lawsuit against the university to be delayed, citing a bill legislators are considering that regulates university speech.

University legal counsel Delena Hurst tells The Jonesboro Sun that she requested the delay because the Forum Act significantly affects the issues in the lawsuit. The bill defines freedom of speech on campuses and seeks to standardize enforcement.

Conservative group Turning Point USA sued the university in 2007 on behalf of university student Ashlyn Hoggard. The lawsuit says Hoggard was prevented from promoting the group on campus because of the university's speech zone policy.

Attorney Tyson Langhoffer, who is representing Hoggard and Turning Point USA, says delaying the lawsuit hurts students' free speech rights.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also criticized the university's free speech policy in September.

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