The National Association of Scholars is pleased to see the introduction of the Campus Free Speech Restoration Act (CAFSRA), introduced by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and cosponsored by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), along with Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND). We strongly endorse this legislation to ensure that colleges and universities protect students’ First Amendment rights.
The Campus Free Speech Restoration Act takes up a central premise of the National Association of Scholars’ “Free to Speak” statement, signed last year by more than 400 scholars and concerned citizens. In that statement, we called for public universities to comply with the First Amendment, on penalty of losing eligibility for federal student aid. We asked for private universities to make their speech codes fully transparent and to treat them as contractual matters with students. CAFSRA would do both.
We commend Senator Cotton and his cosponsors for introducing this important bill and call on Congress to pass it at once. We further urge Congress to incorporate CAFSRA into the Higher Education Act (HEA), which is still overdue for reauthorization. The HEA must not be reauthorized without these key free speech protections
Image: Michael Vadon, Public Domain