Pro-life students at the Georgia Institute of Technology have filed a lawsuit against their university over its refusal to provide funding for a scheduled guest lecture event featuring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, Dr. Alevda King. The students argue that it is unconstitutional for the university to reject their request for student funds on the basis of King’s pro-life views.
According to a report by The College Fix, an act of viewpoint discrimination by Georgia Tech’s student government has posed a substantial barrier to an attempt by a group of pro-life students to host Dr. Alveda King on campus.
When members of the Georgia Tech student government denied the request to fund the event with Dr. King, they admitted that their decision was motivated by their partisan biases. “My concern is that if we support this bill, we’re supporting a speaker that’s said such hateful, dangerous rhetoric,” one student government member said, citing concerns about King’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
In the lawsuit, the students argue that it is unconstitutional for a public university to refuse to approve a request to use student activity fees on a political basis. The students argue that such funds must be distributed in a “viewpoint neutral manner.”
The Supreme Court made it clear twenty years ago that if public universities wish to force students to pay student activity fees, then those universities have an affirmative duty to ensure that the funds are distributed in a viewpoint neutral manner—not by a simple majority vote. But the officials at Georgia Tech have done the opposite. They force students to fund other students’ expression through the student activity fee, but students may only access those funds through a system that permits, and in some cases demands, viewpoint discrimination.
The Georgia Tech student government regularly appropriates funds for Democratic causes. This year, ir approved a $5,000 fund request for a campus event featuring Democrat Andrew Gillum and $2,760 for a student trip to a Democratic Socialism conference.
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