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Government & Politics

White Nationalist Leader Threatens to Sue Ohio Universities Unless They Let Him Speak


A white nationalist says he’ll sue two state universities if they don’t agree by Friday to let him speak on their campuses. The demand is raising concerns about safety if the speech is eventually allowed. The sponsor of a so-called “campus free-speech” bill says his bill could set rules for situations. 


Republican Rep. Andy Brenner's Ohio Campus Free Speech Act has had no hearings yet. But it could pave the way for Richard Spencer, who led a white nationalist marches that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Va., in August, to speak on college campuses.

GOP Rep. Andy Brenner maintains his bill would resolve conflicts over controversial speakers like Spencer.

“Either we have free speech or we don’t. I don’t agree with his speech. I disagree with him completely. However, he also has a right to free speech.”

Brenner says the key would be whether a college group or students made the request. If so, the universities would have to allow it. So far, there have been no requests from student groups based at Ohio State University or University of Cincinnati for Spencer to speak, but a request has come to both from a student from Georgia State.