Marsha Blackburn and Tom Cotton, the GOP senators from Tennessee and Arkansas, are respectively leading efforts to defend freedom of speech in colleges by creating a Senate Campus Free Speech Caucus.
Republican lawmakers helping students defend their right to free speech
GOP lawmakers are initiating the bicameral efforts in collaboration with Young America’s Foundation to help students practice freedom of speech on college campuses. Many other Republicans have joined the cause, including Senators Roger Marshall, Mike Braun, John Boozman, and Steve Daines.
Young America's Foundation (@yaf) launches Senate Campus Free Speech Caucus in collaboration with Senators Blackburn and Cottonhttps://t.co/UMKIlK0CbE
— Mia Cathell (@MiaCathell) October 20, 2021
Apart from their effort of launching the caucus, Blackburn and Cotton also introduced the ‘Campus Free Speech Restoration Act’ and ‘Campus Free Speech Resolution of 2021.’ This legislation depicts their will to protect students’ rights at universities from being curbed by the Democrats’ rising influence over educational institutions.
Defending students’ rights to free speech, Senator Blackburn said the censorship of speech should not be encouraged in colleges. Likewise, she asserted students are not given the right to free speech; therefore, she is leading the effort, alongside Cotton, to give them breathing space.
Similarly, Cotton said universities need to encourage differences of opinion, a practice that is lacking in most educational institutions. He further added colleges are disapproving of students who criticize critical race theory and critical of other ideas that go against Democrats’ narratives.
Freedom of speech declining under the Biden administration
Mike Braun, another senator who backed the measure, said he was proud to join the cause, as freedom of speech is Americans’ most important right given under the Constitution.
Similarly, Steve Daines said exchanging political views should be encouraged in colleges. Likewise, he added educational institutions have no right to punish people based on their personal opinions or their anti-woke beliefs.
It should be noted as Democrats continue promoting the critical race theory-based curriculum, freedom of speech in colleges is declining under the Biden administration.
Biden’s bid to promote a woke agenda in the United States is also endangering the constitutional rights of the masses. This is not only concerning to human rights activists, but also to lawmakers, who have started taking action.
Universities should encourage a variety of viewpoints—but today, colleges and students often silence classmates and faculty who disagree with ideas like Critical Race Theory. The Campus Free Speech Caucus will help return free speech to higher education.https://t.co/3Dclx6P39T
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) October 20, 2021
Scott Walker (the former governor of Wisconsin and the incumbent president of Young America’s Foundation) said the provision of freedom of speech in the U.S. Constitution demands colleges allow these practices without any systematic hurdles.
He endorsed the idea of Blackburn and Cotton to make the Campus Free Speech Caucus that will help with restoring this privilege.
This was a much-needed bill, as one of the surveys of Young America’s Foundation suggested almost forty-six percent of students refrain from sharing their opinions and ideas in front of the classroom. This is due to the presence of too many hurdles the students can face afterward.