Speech First v. Cartwright
Description: Speech First, an organization that advocates for students’ free speech rights on campus, is challenging the University of Central Florida’s policies that unconstitutionally restrict students’ First Amendment rights.
ADF supports student free speech organization
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Vice President of Appellate Advocacy and Senior Counsel John Bursch regarding a proposed friend-of-the-court brief ADF filed Wednesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Speech First v. Cartwright, a lawsuit challenging University of Central Florida policies that unconstitutionally restrict students’ First Amendment rights:
“Public universities should be the standard-bearers for a free-speech environment full of many viewpoints and voices. Universities can regulate truly problematic harassment while still upholding constitutional protections for freedom of speech. Instead, the University of Central Florida has enacted an unnecessarily expansive policy that unconstitutionally restricts and chills students’ protected speech. With this policy, university officials are taking part in a troubling, nationwide trend on campuses to censor student speech with which they disagree. Our brief discusses similar cases in which ADF has represented public-university students across the country censored by their own universities. We urge the court to strike down university policies that violate the First Amendment.”
The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is dedicated to ensuring freedom of speech and association for students and faculty so that everyone can freely participate in the marketplace of ideas without fear of government censorship.
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John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom. Bursch has argued 12 U.S. Supreme Court cases and more than 30 state supreme court cases since 2011, and a recent study concluded that among all frequent Supreme Court advocates who did not work for the federal government, he had the 3rd highest success rate for persuading justices to adopt his legal position. Bursch served as solicitor general for the state of Michigan from 2011-2013. He has argued multiple Michigan Supreme Court cases in eight of the last ten terms and has successfully litigated hundreds of matters nationwide, including six with at least $1 billion at stake. As part of his private firm, Bursch Law PLLC, he has represented Fortune 500 companies, foreign and domestic governments, top public officials, and industry associations in high-profile cases, primarily on appeal. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1997 from the University of Minnesota Law School and is admitted to practice in numerous federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.