Challenges to the Freedom of Speech on College Campuses: Part II

Subcommittee on Healthcare, Benefits, and Administrative Rules
Subcommittee on Healthcare, Benefits, and Administrative Rules
Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs
Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs
Hearing Date: May 22, 2018 2:00 pm 2154 Rayburn HOB

  • To further explore the current state of free speech protections on college campuses and examine first-hand accounts from the perspectives of those at the forefront of the debate.
  • To understand the policies and viewpoints that have enabled suppression of constitutionally protected free speech at institutions of higher education.


  • On July 27, 2017, the Subcommittee on Healthcare, Benefits, and Administrative Rules and the Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs held a joint hearing highlighting challenges to free speech on college campuses.
  • Overall, suppression of free speech on college campuses appears to be worsening. In some situations, states and public universities have responded to free speech violations by enacting policies to eliminate the counterintuitive free-speech zones, in addition to disciplining disruptive students.
  • In September 2017, the U.S. Attorney General expressed concern that freedom of thought and speech are “under attack” on campuses and called for a “national recommitment” to campus free speech cases.

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Mr. Tyson Langhofer Senior Counsel and Director, Center for Academic Freedom Alliance Defending Freedom Document
Dr. Bret Weinstein Professor In-Exile Evergreen State College, Washington Document
Dr. Allison Stanger Russell J. Leng '60 Professor of International Politics and Economics Middlebury College, Vermont Document
Dr. Shaun Harper Provost Professor of Education and Business, Allen Chair in Urban Leadership, USC Race and Equity Center Executive Director University of Southern California Document
Dr. Robert P. George McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions Princeton University Document