Judge grants preliminary injunction against NC State speech permit policy
Posted June 4, 2016
Updated June 5, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — A judge on Saturday granted a preliminary injunction that prevents North Carolina State University from requiring students to obtain permits to speak or distribute written material on campus.
The motion will stop the university from enforcing this policy while the lawsuit makes its way through the courts.
Grace Christian Life, a non-denominational church that meets on campus, sued the university in April saying the permit policy violates the group's free-speech rights. Chief U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III granted the church's motion.
Dever in his order agreed that the policy violated First Amendment rights and consequently barred the school from requiring people to obtain permits to distribute fliers and approach other students in public spaces on campus.
Dever on Thursday grilled state attorneys about the legality of the policy. University officials said the policy dates to 1993 and was implemented to help ensure student safety. When pressed by Dever about safety issues, the state lawyers could not provide an example.
In Saturday's injunction, Dever also wrote that the school cannot impose restrictions on any form of non-commercial solicitation because of the content, viewpoint of the expression or the possible reaction to the expression.