First Amendment professor crushes protesters' rights

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – First Amendment rights are under the microscope after Ohio State University police arrested two students on Tuesday and detained and later arrested three more Thursday morning. It has been placed 30 pro-Palestinian protesters on Thursdaynight.

“First Amendment rules apply to state and federal governments. Because Ohio State University is a state university, it is subject to the First Amendment,” said Dan Coville, a constitutional law professor at Capital University. explained.

Coville has taught “Fraud Law” at Capital for 37 years.

“Most speech is protected. So does it matter if someone says Palestine should be destroyed, or Israel should be destroyed? “As long as you're not alleging illegal activity, you're protected by the First Amendment,” he explained. Learn how the First Amendment applies to protests.

He added: “Speech that offends people is usually protected, but speech that directly harms another person physically is not.”

Thursday night's protests were essentially peaceful and, in Coville's assessment, did not violate the First Amendment based on what protesters said.

However, there are “time, place, and manner” restrictions that require or permit intervention from a governing body like Ohio State University.

“Restrictions on time, place, and etiquette mean that you can only speak within a certain time. It also means that you can only speak in a certain area, or in a certain way or manner. That means you can't use loudspeakers. That would be an etiquette restriction,” Coville explained.

Thursday's arrest was made by university police in coordination with the Ohio State Highway Patrol on suspicion of “trespassing.”of Ohio's “University Space” RegulationsAuthorizes police intervention if these rules are broken. According to school regulations, “camping'' is not permitted on campus. Protesters on Thursday night set up at least five tents and planned to remain on the grounds until they were forced to remove them through “mass arrests,” one demonstrator said.

“If this is a fair policy of what courts commonly refer to as 'time, place, and manner' restrictions,” Coville explained.

“If a university says they don't allow overnight camping, that would seem like a behavior restriction, unless the university is allowing others who consent to do so,” Coville added.

On Thursday night, protesters formed a ring around the “encampment” and locked arms in an attempt to prevent police from entering. The demonstrators also instructed the crowd to “surround the police who are arresting someone, lock their weapons and release them.” That was when the arrest became mandatory.

Mr. Coville explained. “They have a duty to obey legal orders, the orders of police officers, and not to interfere with the performance of their duties.”

NBC4 requested an interview with the ACLU of Ohio regarding the First Amendment rights of protesters and the actions of the Ohio State University Police Department. They sent the following statement:
      “Institutions of higher education, whether public or private, should be strong defenders of free speech. We must ensure that students' First Amendment free speech rights are zealously protected on campus. It is the responsibility of OSU administrators to ensure that the university has a long tradition of student advocacy, where perspectives are challenged and debate is encouraged.”

https://www.wkbn.com/news/ohio/first-amendment-professor-breaks-down-rights-of-protesters/ First Amendment professor crushes protesters' rights

Related Articles

Back to top button