On Monday, June 3, State of Maine’s House Legislature passed a bill directing the Attorney General, Aaron Frey, to investigate whether any Maine public universities are infringing on students’ free speech rights.
The original bill mandated universities to have no policies that infringe on basic free speech rights.
According to Maine Public, the bill was inspired around student free speech rights and the ability of students to speak on issues without campus officials unduly restricting when and where they could exercise their First Amendment rights.
“We as legislators all swear to uphold and guard the rights in our constitution. Freedom of speech is chief among those rights. Instead, to my dismay, we punted this bill,” says Rep. Heidi Sampson, a Republican from Maine.
Despite several states implementing similar legislation, the bill faces further votes and could die for lack of funding to conduct the study.
“I believe that the attorney general’s inquiry as defined by the amended version of this bill will find nothing of concern and nothing inconsistent with our current policies and practices. But I welcome the review and to hosting staff of the attorney general at UMF,” says Rep. Alison Hepler, a Democrat from Maine.
Each day on college campuses, students are constantly fighting to have their voices heard. Whether it be through the foundation of a new student organization or having their grades being affected, students are the fighters on the battleground.
Turning Point USA advocates for the freedom of speech of all levels, and has benefitted from the President and his freedom of speech Executive Order that was enacted earlier this year.