CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal lawsuit over white nationalist Richard Spencer’s effort to speak at an Ohio college ended on Wednesday.
A federal court filing showed both Spencer’s campus tour organizer and the University of Cincinnati agreed to dismiss the case. Columbus attorney Mark Landes, who represents the school, said Spencer’s side wanted to drop the case and there was no settlement agreement.
“They’re not getting anything,” Landes said.
The attorney for Spencer’s tour organizer didn’t respond immediately to requests for comment.
The school’s president, Neville Pinto, said there were “no plans for Spencer to speak at UC.”
A trial had been scheduled for next year in U.S. district court.
The school last October agreed to let Spencer speak, and his tour organizers had set a date in March. But that date was scuttled after they sued in January over UC’s security fee demand of nearly $11,000 that Spencer’s attorney at the time called discriminatory and unconstitutional. The school later said that amount was a “mere fraction” of its expected costs.
Spencer calls his views “alt-right.” He advocates a white “ethno-state” and espouses anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant beliefs. UC’s board of trustees publicly condemned hate last October while citing the fundamental right to free speech at a public university.
Pinto on Wednesday repeatedly referred to Spencer as an uninvited speaker.
“While this has been a trying time for our community and one that tested our commitment to free speech, it has also prompted difficult conversations about how freedom of expression intertwines with our commitment to equity and inclusion … this trying time has made us even stronger,” Pinto stated.
Spencer spoke in March at Michigan State University, where protesters far outnumbered his audience during that school’s spring break.
Spencer’s side earlier dropped a federal lawsuit against Ohio State University over its refusal to book him. The school said Spencer’s appearance posed a “substantial risk” to public safety and could cause disruption.
Ohio State pointed to deadly violence at the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally last August where Spencer was a scheduled speaker, and his raucous October appearance at the University of Florida, where authorities estimated security costs at $600,000.
He also had wanted to speak at Kent State University in May, but that Ohio school said he couldn’t be accommodated during the busy time at the end of the school year.