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A student was arrested and handcuffed for distributing copies of the U.S. Constitution on a college campus, prompting a federal lawsuit.
A video shows officers handcuffing and arresting Michelle Gregorie for trespassing at Kellogg Community College (KCC) in Battle Creek, Mich. A member of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), Gregoire was handing out pocket-sized copies of the Constitution at the time of the arrest, a lawsuit from the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) alleged.
The college maintains the student was arrested in September 2016 because YAL is not a registered student organization, a KCC press release stated. KCC staff asked the students to register and move their activities to the Student Center. When they refused, they were arrested, which prompted the lawsuit.
“By policy and practice, Kellogg Community College … claims the unchecked right to prohibit students from engaging in practically any constitutionally protected expression anywhere on campus unless they first obtain permission from KCC officials,” the ADF suite states. “When students request permission, the College’s Solicitation Policy … grants KCC officials unbridled discretion to restrict the content and viewpoint of student speech if it does not ‘support the mission of Kellogg Community College (KCC) or the mission of a recognized college entity or activity.’ Thus, students may not speak spontaneously anywhere on campus.”
The college maintains its policy is constitutional.
“This case is not about free speech or viewpoint discrimination,” KCC spokesman Eric Greene said. “We have felt from day one of this unnecessary lawsuit that the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit and that the College’s Solicitation Policy is constitutional and appropriate in its scope.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom charges that the college violated the students’ First Amendment rights.
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