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Gerald-Esquire, Attorney
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 2751
Experience:  30 years experience.
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I've noticed many free speech lawsuits against universities

Customer Question

I've noticed many free speech lawsuits against universities in other states are conducted in federal court instead of state court. I want to know how the federal courts often have jurisdiction. I thought state schools operate under the guise of state law, and thus the state court has jurisdiction, and that only federal law can be struck down by federal courts unless they are specifically given that authority or if Congress mandates that school receiving federal aid follow the constitution. I'm not aware of any such mandates for civil liberties, only civil rights. My public university has some unconstitutional speech rules that I strongly prefer to strike down in federal court vs state court due the higher perceived credibility of federal court, but I don't know how to claim the federal court has jurisdiction. I fear my school will let the case go forward, and then point out the lack of jurisdiction later if they lose. I also fear they will try to bounce back and forth between the two systems by making me have to prove which one has jurisdiction. Thank you.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 2 months ago.


Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

State schools are an agency of the state Government. Under the Fourteenth Amendment the protections of the US Constitution apply to actions of the State governments. Therefore the federal Courts have the jurisdiction to hear violations by the State of the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments).

So if a State School violates a citizens First Amendment Right of free speech then that violation may be heard in either State or Federal Court.



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