Contact: Mike Browne, Deputy Director
With Nationalism on the Rise GOP Threatens Students Protesting Hate Speech on Campuses With Suspensions, Expulsion and Lawsuits
MADISON, Wis. — A handful of Republicans in the state legislature including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Sen. Chris Kapenga, who traded his budget vote for a special provision to benefit a business he owns, have re-introduced legislation to protect right-wing hate speech on University of Wisconsin campuses.
The bill is largely similar to a bill introduced at the direction of Vos in the 2017 legislative session and includes language threatening students with suspension and expulsion for violations.
However, the latest version of the proposal includes new language that could allow a white nationalist who believes their “expressive rights are violated by a violation of the bill’s requirements to bring an action to enjoin a violation and obtain reasonable attorneys fees and damages.”
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher:
“Threatening students with lawsuits and expulsion for protesting white nationalism on campus isn’t protecting free speech, it’s protecting hate speech.
“I’d call on the Republicans who introduced this ridiculous bill to hang their heads in shame for what they’ve done, but it’s clear they have none.”