The University Of Cincinnati agreed last October to allow white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak at the school. The board of trustees condemned hate but cited the fundamental right to free speech at a public university and allowed the appearance to be scheduled.
Now, the University Of Cincinnati has now canceled Spencer's appearance after Spencer refused to pay a nearly $11,000 security fee the school charged to help with costs associated with providing security to the event. The school says the $11,000 is a far cry from the estimated $600,000 they expected security for the event to cost.
The cancellation of Spencer's appearance was confirmed Tuesday in a message by the president of the university saying that March 14 was no longer an option and he could not speculate on any potential future date. UC President Neville Pinto added that the school's public safety department requires at least six weeks to prepare for the safety needs of the event.
The appearance was already scheduled well in advance of the six week warning the university requires and now Spencer has filed a lawsuit against the school. Pinto's letter reads, "The uncertainty inherent in the timing and outcome of this proposed event and any litigation naturally brings frustration, impatience and a sense of being unsettled. I fully understand what a trying time this is for our community."
Spencer's attorney Bristow said he is currently tied up but if the university does not agree to allow Spencer speak than he will sue. "I will not tolerate left-wing university bureaucrats spitting upon the First Amendment rights of right-wingers," Bristow said. "I will make Kent State University's administrators bend the knee like the others."
UC General Counsel Lori Ross wrote a letter January 4 to Bristow indicating the school had begun "preliminary preparations" for the March 14 appearance but that a lot still remained to be done. Ross said the school required a signed rental agreement, insurance certificate and a total of $11,333 for rental and security by January 12.
Spencer and Bristow say the fee is unconstitutional and refuse to pay, at the same time they plan to sue the university for not allowing them to speak. The constitutional conundrum seems to be at an impasse that a court will need to sort out.
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