WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) has filed a motion for leave to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in support of Speech First, a membership organization defending the First Amendment rights of students. 

Speech First is suing Oklahoma State University (OSU), arguing that the university’s bias response team, harassment policy, and computer use policy are designed to monitor, investigate, and restrict student speech in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

The district court dismissed the case, holding that Speech First may not bring suit on behalf of anonymous OSU students. 

In its brief supporting the right of the students to remain anonymous at this stage of the lawsuit, IWLC highlights the experience of Riley Gaines, an IW spokeswoman, who was assaulted recently for expressing her opinion on a college campus. The attack on Gaines illuminates the very real threat to individuals with unpopular viewpoints on campus. IWLC hopes that its brief will underscore for the Court why organizations like Speech First might need to protect the anonymity of their members. 

Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center said, “The First Amendment protects the right of Americans to speak and associate anonymously. Given recent incidents of campus violence, the ability of students to file suit anonymously is essential – particularly where, as here, the essence of the complaint if that students can’t express their opinions on campus without fear that another student will report them under OSU’s policies.”

The brief can be found HERE.

Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and the continued legal relevance of biological sex.
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