DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION AND YOUR CIVIL LIBERTIES

FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS

Freedom of speech, the press, association, assembly, and petition: This set of guarantees, protected by the First Amendment, comprises what we refer to as freedom of expression. It is the foundation of a vibrant democracy, and without it, other fundamental rights, like the right to vote, would wither away.

LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY 

BILLS TO WATCH

SB 318 (William Ligon (R), Butch Miller (R), Randy Robertson (R), Bill Heath (R), Bruce Thompson (R), Marty Harbin (R)):

This bill infringes on the First Amendment Rights of students at Georgia’s public colleges and universities in two major ways.SB 318 prevents public colleges and universities from enforcing their nondiscrimination policies on “religious”, “political”, and “ideological” student organizations. In reality, this means that these types of state-funded student organizations will be permitted to discrimination in their membership and leadership and to do so with impunity. Senate Bill 318 also seeks to require student athletes at Georgia’s public colleges and universities to comply with any and all athletic department policies. This bill seeks to censor the First Amendment rights of student athletes by censoring their free speech and expression. This component of the bill is clearly aimed at student athletes who engage in protests thorough kneeling or other forms.

The ACLU of Georgia OPPOSES this bill.

HB 995 (Josh Bonner (R), Ginny Ehrhart (R), Timothy Barr (R), Kasey Carpenter (R), Martin Momtahan (R), Philip Singleton (R)):

This bill allows for state-funded student organizations at public colleges and universities to discriminate. [Failed to receive a vote in the House]

The ACLU of Georgia OPPOSES this bill.