Campus free speech is in danger, Heritage highlights need for reform

In 2016, college student Michelle Gregoire and her classmates were arrested and put in jail for distributing copies of the U.S. Constitution on their college campus. Ben Shapiro was disinvited from DePaul and AEI scholar Charles Murray was notably shouted-down at Middlebury. Ensuing riots sent a Middlebury professor to the hospital.

Our constitutional right to free speech is under assault. And antagonism towards free speech is displayed with concerning violence.

The very notion of the pervasive “campus free speech zones” is self-contradictory. Yet one in ten of the top colleges have such zones. Many are severely restricted. Free speech cannot be literally put in a box, only to be exercised in certain places, during certain hours, under certain conditions, and at the discretion of certain authorities. And no institution that receives federal funding should be allowed to infringe upon rights like this.

Heritage is committed to protecting and preserving our First Amendment rights. Tuesday, Heritage hosted a discussion entitled “Doublespeak 101: “Free Speech Zones” and the Threat to Free Speech on Campus,” featuring opening remarks by Congressman Phil Roe, a key proponent of Congressional measures to eliminate unconstitutional campus speech policies.

In this insightful panel, these experts discussed the state of free speech on campus, the problem of free speech zones, and potential remedies at the state and federal level.

As Congressman Phil Roe said:

Free speech is the oxygen of democracy, and without that oxygen – free speech – democracy will cease to exist. And that’s why we have to protect it so rigorously.

And the Goldwater Institute’s Timothy Sandefur added:

We owe it to future generations to do what is necessary to protect free speech rights…We owe it to future generations to leave America as free as we found it or freer.

The Goldwater Institute released suggested state-level legislation earlier this year that is designed to protect free speech at public universities. This legislation was discussed on the Heritage panel.

Watch this week’s panel discussion on campus free speech zones below:

Why is it important to oppose campus policies that restrict First Amendment rights?

You are pushing the American economy forward

Earlier this summer President Trump tasked OMB Director Mick Mulvaney to come up with a plan to get America back on track for real growth in the economy. The goal is to get sustained economic growth up to 3% or higher.

Immediately after being assigned that project, Director Mulvaney and his team called upon Heritage and Heritage Action for help in pulling together such a plan.

Since then Heritage’s economic experts have been working closely with Director Mulvaney’s team to craft this plan that would provide a much-needed economic boost to our country.

The key areas the plan will focus on are tax reform, unnecessary regulation, welfare reform, restraining government spending, smart energy strategy, fair trade for America, and strengthening America’s infrastructure.

Describing the need for this plan, Director Mulvaney recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal that:

“The focus of MAGAnomics is simple: Grow the economy and with it the wealth of, and opportunity for, all Americans. It does that by focusing on fundamental principles that made the U.S. economy the greatest engine of prosperity in the history of the planet:

If we enact the president’s broad agenda–if MAGAnomics is allowed to work–we will have set the stage for the greatest revival of the American economy since the early 1980s.”

This is the economic progress that our nation needs and that President Trump promises to push forward.

This is also a great example of Heritage doing what it was created to do–provide conservative policy solutions to get our country back on track.

Your support of Heritage is directly enabling this impact and you should be proud.

It’s the continued commitment of members like you that will revitalize our economy and get America back to work.

Thank you for making this possible.

What do you believe is the biggest issue holding America’s economy back?

Take a look at the impact you had in 2016

Last week Heritage released its 2016 annual report. What a year to remember! The report details the impact you made possible.

As the Washington Examiner remarked:

The Heritage Foundation might be the biggest winner of 2016.

Below are just a few of the accomplishments you made possible in 2016:

  • Forty Heritage officers and staff members contributed their time and talents to the Trump transition efforts, turning over more than 5,000 resumes of exceptional candidates to fill the approximately 4,000 appointed positions in the Executive Branch.
  • You helped expand school choice in Maryland and South Dakota.
  • Right-to-work legislation that passed in west Virginia and Wisconsin has been a signature issue for Heritage since our founding in 1973. Now the majority of states no longer force workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.
  • The U.S. and our allies adopted many of our policy recommendations for restraining North Korea. In addition to toughening sanctions against the rouge regime, Washington and Seoul agreed to deploy THAAD missile defenses in South Korea.
  • You were influential in winning funding to address the serious military readiness problems identified in our Index of U.S. Military Strength.
  • Heritage’s Young Leaders Program trained 184 interns and the Heritage Congressional Fellows program graduated its largest class of junior Hill staffers ever.
  • By year-end, Heritage hosted 185 lectures and seminars, conducted 810 television and 3,029 radio interviews, released 134 issue briefs and 1,107 commentaries, and the Daily Signal achieved over 25 million video views.

Read the full annual report to see more impact that you made possible in 2016 >>

What do you think has been the most important victory for conservatives since 2016? What should be the focus of conservatives for the rest of the year?