Georgetown Law Students Uninvited From Sessions’ ‘Free Speech’ Event

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks to law enforcement officials about transnational organized crime and gang violence at the Federal Courthouse Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Boston. Sessions has called crime groups, like MS-13, “one of the gravest threats to American safety.” (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Stephan Savoia/AP

More than 130 Georgetown University law students have been uninvited to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ speech about free speech on campus set for Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement from the Georgetown Law American Constitution Society.

Sessions’ speech will condemn the recent rise in opposition to unrestricted free speech on college campuses and will end with a question and answer session with one of the law school professors, according to the university’s student publication, The Hoya.

“It is extraordinarily hypocritical that AG Sessions wants to lecture future attorneys about the importance of free speech on campus while excluding the wider student body from his very own ‘safe space,’” the constitution society president Daniel Blauser said in a statement. “We welcomed the debate, but sadly the school seems to want to limit attendance to help ensure a sympathetic audience.”

The event was meant to be restricted to a small group of students, but the lottery page to sign up for seats was “circulated more generally by students,” Blauser told TPM.

The uninvited students received a message from the school informing them their ticket had been revoked due to an “error.” The event was intended for members of the Center for the Constitution’s student invitation list, which includes Center fellows and those enrolled in the class of the professor who’s leading the question and answer session, according to the school email.

But Blauser said some of the students whose tickets were revoked met that criteria, but also happened to be involved in online discussions about protesting the event.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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