It’s astonishing that free speech remains an issue at so many universities.

The FIRE blog reports.

Despite Multiple Legal Setbacks, Iowa State’s Desire to Censor Remains Strong

Important questions about the state of free speech on campus are still evolving in Iowa, where FIRE recently announced a victory after a federal court ordered Iowa State University (ISU) to stop using its trademark policy to censor the T-shirt designs of the campus chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML ISU).

The university’s administrators have appealed the part of the decision that could make them personally liable for the damages suffered by the students. Meanwhile, they are attempting to suspend enforcement of the district court’s order while their appeal is considered. These efforts suggest that ISU is willing to spare no expense in defending its unconstitutional policy of censoring its students.

Former NORML ISU student-leaders Erin Furleigh and Paul Gerlich have been battling with the university over their group’s T-shirt design, which depicted ISU mascot Cy the Cardinal’s head in the place of the “O” in NORML, along with a marijuana leaf. In 2012, ISU administrators approved the T-shirt design but later rescinded that approval following criticism from state officials and members of the public.

ISU also adopted and enforced new regulations specifically designed to restrict NORML ISU’s ability to engage in political advocacy. In the following years, ISU rejected a number of NORML ISU’s other T-shirt designs, including one that simply said “NORML ISU Supports Legalizing Marijuana,” under its new, hastily-drawn policy. Furleigh and Gerlich made the decision to sue ISU in July 2014 as part of FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project.