Atheist group files brief supporting Christian student's First Amendment case

by Jenny Mount · Sep 30th, 2020 4:19 pm
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Last Updated Oct 2nd, 2020 at 12:07 am

An atheist group known as the American Humanist Association has filed a brief in support of a lawsuit against a Georgia college by a Christian student.

The suit was filed by conservative law firm The Alliance Defending Freedom against George Gwinnett College for punishing Christian student Chike Uzuegbunam for preaching outside of a limited free speech zone on campus.

The college has since changed its policy on free speech and expression, but continues to refuse to accept any penalty for past actions.

AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt said in a statement released Tuesday that he believes people must "be given every chance to preserve their First Amendment rights."

"While the AHA and ADF may approach the Constitution from different angles, at the very least we agree that First Amendment litigation and the associated rights are essential to our democracy," he said.

According to official school policy, Uzuegbunam was only allowed to distribute literature or speak about his beliefs at two free speech zones determined by the college. After the college amended its speech and expression policies in 2017, the school argued that the complaint against them by Uzuegbunam and Bradford had become moot.

In July of last year, a three-judge panel concluded that the student's complaint "did not include a well-pled request for compensatory damages, in part because it failed to allege any concrete injuries arising from the allegedly unconstitutional conduct of the GGC officials."

The Alliance Defending Freedom firm appealed the panel decision. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed in July to hear the case.


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