Opinion: Yale mob illustrates larger free speech problem at America’s universities

Our universities cannot stand by and allow mobs to trash civil dialogue. Every academic institution must be a place where free speech prevails.

When a Christian conservative teams up with a liberal atheist at an event designed to promote unity in polarizing times, you might assume the effort would be universally applauded—unless you’ve been to Yale Law School lately.

Federalist Society student chapters have for many years invited me and other lawyers with Alliance Defending Freedom to speak at their events, most recently at Cardozo School of Law, the University of Illinois, the University of Virginia, the University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of Iowa and the University of San Diego, where all went as planned. The Yale chapter invited me to participate in a panel discussion about a case I argued before the Supreme Court that received the support of groups across the ideological spectrum. It also united the Court, as eight justices ruled for our clients, ensuring that government officials cannot get a free pass when they violate precious liberties.

My co-panelist was Monica Miller, an attorney from the American Humanist Association. She wrote one of the 22 briefs filed in support of our case, and though we disagree on much, we agree on the importance of free speech.

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