Another student group has been told they only have freedom of speech in a tiny “free speech” zone. Ridiculous.

Susan Kruth of the FIRE blog reported.

U. of South Alabama Pro-Life Group Alleges First, Fourteenth Amendment Violations

The University of South Alabama (USA) student group Students for Life USA filed suit against the university in federal court in April, alleging that by restricting the group’s speech to a tiny “speech zone” on campus, the university violated members’ First Amendment right to freedom of expression, as well as their Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection. Earlier this month, USA revised a solicitation policy at issue in the lawsuit, but according to Students for Life USA and the group’s counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the second policy identified in the suit still infringes on student rights. ADF filed an amended complaint (PDF) this week, which includes requests to enjoin enforcement of both policies and to provide nominal damages and attorneys’ fees.

USA’s solicitation policy covers all student speech on campus. At the time it was initially enforced against Students for Life USA, it not only limited expression to less than 0.01 percent of campus but also required student groups to request permission to use the speech zone three days in advance, allowing for no spontaneous or anonymous expression. This policy does not indicate by what standards or within what timeline administrators must determine who receives a permit and who doesn’t, leaving ample opportunity for selective enforcement and viewpoint discrimination. Students for Life USA claims four administrators fully took advantage of that opportunity in their case.

According to the complaint, in October 2013 and February 2014, USA administrators denied the pro-life group’s requests to set up a “Cemetery of the Innocents” display in an open area outside of the designated speech zone, even though other groups and students regularly use the area for expressive activities. Administrators also told the group that it could not hang signs in a traffic circle regularly used for that purpose by a range of student groups. Chillingly, the complaint alleges that in declaring that Students for Life USA could share its message only in the designated speech zone, an administrator cited his concern that the group “advocates for a position that involves political and social controversy.”