Justice Clarence Thomas issued the opinion of the court Monday, siding with Chike Uzuegbunam, a former student at Georgia Gwinnett College, and affirming his right to share his Christian faith on campus.
The Supreme Court ruled in an 8-1 decision Monday that a Georgia college’s speech code policy violated the First Amendment and that a student who was harmed by the policy can seek damages.
Justice Clarence Thomas issued the opinion of the court Monday, siding with Chike Uzuegbunam, a former student at Georgia Gwinnett College, and affirming his right to share his Christian faith on campus. The opinion reversed an Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which said Uzuegbunam didn’t have standing to sue the college over its policy that severely restricted his speech.
“The Supreme Court has rightly affirmed that government officials should be held accountable for the injuries they cause,” Kristen Waggoner, general counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said in a statement Monday. “When public officials violate constitutional rights, it causes serious harm to the victims.”
In 2016, Uzuegbunam was told that he needed to use one of two “speech zones,” which made up less than 1% of the entire campus, if he wanted to continue sharing his Christian faith on campus, according to ADF. Uzuegbunam complied, but minutes after speaking in a reserved zone, campus police threatened him with discipline if he continued.
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