Lawsuit filed to let Richard Spencer speak at Michigan State

Richard Spencer
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Richard Spencer

The organizer of prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer’s speaking tour is suing a university that denied him permission to speak on campus.

Kyle Bristow, the organizer of Spencer’s tour, filed the lawsuit Sunday against Michigan State University on behalf of Georgia State University student Cameron Padgett, who tried to rent a space for Spencer to speak on campus but was denied, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The lawsuit is alleging that the university is violating Padgett’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech. He is demanding a trial by jury and $75,000 in damages, according to court documents.

University officials said last month that they were denying a request for Spencer to speak in a campus building in the wake of the violence that broke out at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in early August.

{mosads}”After consultation with law enforcement officials, Michigan State University has decided to deny the National Policy Institute’s request to rent space on campus to accommodate a speaker,” the university said in a statement then. “This decision was made due to significant concerns about public safety in the wake of the tragic violence in Charlottesville last weekend.”

Spencer’s events often attract small crowds but hundreds of protesters. He was present at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

The University of Florida and Texas A&M have also either blocked or cancelled events Spencer was slated to address.


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