As promised, President Trump signed an executive order Thursday punishing colleges and universities that infringe on students’ First Amendment rights.
The order, titled “Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities,” hits offending schools where it hurts — their pocketbooks — by denying federal grants to institutions that censor campus speech.
“Under the guise of speech codes, and safe spaces, and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans,” Trump said.
The order comes in response to a disturbing trend in which conservative voices have been silenced, punished and even violently stifled on U.S. campuses.
However, the vaguely written order raises the question of how it may impact private schools, where many First Amendment issues that come into play on public campuses are not considered applicable.
Trump’s move has received pushback from education leaders as well as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who argued, “Conservatives don’t like it when judges try to write laws, and conservatives should not like it when legislators and agencies try to rewrite the Constitution.”
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