The California student barred from passing out copies of the Constitution gets a big settlement.
By Alec Torres
In a big win for free-speech rights on college campuses, Modesto Junior College in California settled a lawsuit with a student who was barred from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day.
Last September, Robert van Tuinen was told by a campus police officer and a college administrator that he could not pass out Constitutions in a public space without permission from the college or outside of the designated “free-speech zone.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) represented van Tuinen, who won $50,000 in damages in the suit settled on Monday. Modesto Junior College has also agreed to change its policies and allow free speech in open areas throughout the campus.