Campus carry is Texas is safe for now.

Inside Higher Ed reports.

Judge: Academic Freedom Doesn’t Bar Campus Carry

A federal judge on Monday denied a preliminary injunction sought by three faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin to block a new state law that permits concealed weapons on campus.

Specifically, the professors sued to define a right of faculty members to bar weapons from their own classrooms and argued that their First Amendment right to academic freedom gave them that right. The judge rejected that claim.

The ruling is only on a request for a preliminary injunction, and the professors’ lawsuit remains alive. Likewise, the ruling is only about the Texas law, not other laws or legislation in other states on campus carry. But the judge’s ruling on the academic freedom issue — one cited by faculty members in Texas and elsewhere to oppose guns in classrooms — suggests that the professors nationwide could face long odds in making the case as a matter of federal law that academic freedom gives them the right to keep guns out of their classrooms.

The academic freedom argument made in this lawsuit and by many professors nationally is that the presence or potential presence of guns in a classroom effectively limits the ability of faculty members to discuss controversial topics.

Judge Lee Yeakel rejected the argument.

He noted that federal courts have generally respected the right of academic freedom, but his ruling said that this was not an absolute right. He cited the Supreme Court’s 1990 ruling in University of Pennsylvania v. EEOC. In that case, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sought documents from Penn about its review of the tenure bid of a faculty member who believed the review included illegal discrimination. Penn argued that release of the materials would limit academic freedom by discouraging professors from expressing frank opinions on their colleagues.

Judge Yeakel noted that the Supreme Court rejected Penn’s argument, finding that since EEOC was not in any way encouraging or requiring a point of view in the faculty documents, it was not limiting academic freedom.