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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Abstract

Speech on America's university and college campuses has been a long-time issue, from classrooms to open spaces, from efforts to protect students to approaches toward invited speakers. These issues especially surfaced in the early twenty-first century, and predominantly in response to invited speakers. Several incidents in early 2017-some involving violent protests-moved these issues into an analytical spotlight. This Article examines efforts to silence controversial oncampus speakers. It does so first through the lens of free speech doctrine and how it addresses this development. Second, this Article seeks to explain this increasing intolerance for the expression of ideas: an escalating crisis in confidence in American institutions and democratic principles fueled by contemporary shifts in political and social landscapes. The Article concludes by offering suggestions aimed at enhancing a principal purpose of higher education-knowledge creation through the exchange of ideas.

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