Emory needed a special panel to figure this out? What a bizarre turn of events.

Eugene Volokh reports at the Washington Post.

Emory University Open Expression committee opinion on Trump chalkings, ‘Mein Trumpf’ poster and other matters

Emory University’s Standing Committee for Open Expression — an official university body — has just issued another broadly speech-protective opinion interpreting the Emory Open Expression Policy. (Note that my brother and co-blogger Sasha Volokh, a professor at Emory Law School, is on the committee.) The opinion, of course, is constrained by the terms of the policy, but I think it faithfully interprets the policy as offering broad protection for student speech. The opinion has no formal precedential value, as I understand it, but I suspect that in practice it will be quite influential. An excerpt:

In re Donald Trump Chalkings and Related Matters

Opinion of the Emory University Senate Standing Committee for Open Expression

Executive Summary

The Emory University Standing Committee for Open Expression (“the Committee”) exists to promote and protect the rights to open expression, dissent and protest among Emory community members. As part of our responsibility to provide advice and counsel to Community members interpreting Emory’s Open Expression Policy and the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups under it, this Committee expresses its view on several incidents related to political expression that took place in March 2016: (1) pro-Donald Trump chalkings, (2) a “Mein Trumpf” poster, (3) the drawing of a Hitler mustache on a Trump poster, (4) the cutting up of two pro-Bernie Sanders posters, and (5) the placing of an Israeli flag over an anti-Israel sign.

The phrases “Trump 2016” and other pro-Donald Trump messages were found chalked on public spaces near the center of campus. The Open Expression Policy protects the content of these chalkings.