Commentary: How Congress Could Protect Free Speech on Campus

June 30, 2024 1 min read

Conor Friedersdorf
The Atlantic

Excerpt: What do colleges owe their Jewish students? Administrators, faculty, and members of Congress have debated that polarizing question in recent months. Soon, judges and juries may impose some answers. At least 19 lawsuits pending against institutions of higher education allege anti-Semitism that violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which mandates that no person shall, on grounds of race or national origin, “be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under” a program that receives federal funds.

The way forward is to reaffirm equal treatment for Jewish students without undermining free speech or academic freedom. But we cannot rely on the justice system to achieve that balance. Congress should intervene, amending Title VI to add robust free-speech protections for all.

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