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FL Gov. DeSantis signs bill to prevent unconstitutional delays when universities violate student free speech

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2021

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, regarding Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s signing Tuesday of HB 233, a bill that provides better recourse for public university students if they are punished for expressing their sincerely held religious beliefs in a private setting, as happened to ADF client Jack Denton:

“Students don’t forfeit their right to free speech when they step on to a public university campus. After forcing Jack Denton out of his position as student senate president, the student senate took actions to prevent Jack’s complaint from being heard in a timely manner, depriving him of several months in office. This new law provides students with recourse if they experience unconstitutional delays like Jack’s by allowing them to appeal directly to a high-ranking university official if they are punished or removed from student leadership. We thank Rep. Spencer Roach for sponsoring this vital legislation in response to the problems Jack faced, and we commend Gov. DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for ensuring that First Amendment rights are preserved for students like Jack.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Tyson Langhofer

Tyson C. Langhofer serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom and director of its Center for Academic Freedom. Before joining ADF, Langhofer was a partner with Stinson Leonard Street LLP, where he worked as a commercial litigation attorney for 15 years and earned Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® rating. Langhofer earned his Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in 1999. He obtained a B.A. in international business with a minor in economics from Wichita State University in 1996. A member of the bar in Virginia, Kansas, and Arizona, Langhofer is also admitted to practice in numerous federal district courts.