ACLU of Idaho letter highlights the group’s recent First Amendment victories in federal court

BOISE, Idaho—The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho (ACLU of Idaho) joined national and state organizations in expressing serious concerns over Boise State University’s policies pertaining to events and speakers on campus. The call came in a letter from the group’s Legal Director emailed to BSU President Bob Kustra this past Friday, July 11, 2014. The letter in the wake of similar requests by the Idaho Freedom Foundation and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, asking the university to refund “security fees” charged to campus group Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) for an event featuring a pro-gun speaker earlier this year.

In the letter ACLU of Idaho Legal Director Richard Eppink wrote, “The policies and the charges that BSU imposed on the YAL group are especially troubling because of how clearly they seem to violate established First Amendment requirements.” Eppink continues, “The ACLU of Idaho litigated similar State of Idaho policies just last year and prevailed.” The BSU policy allows the university wide discretion in whether it will charge groups for event costs like security. A federal court ruled last fall that a similar State of Idaho policy was unconstitutional, in a lawsuit brought by Occupy Boise and handled by the ACLU of Idaho.

The ACLU of Idaho’s letter also expresses serious concerns that the university’s “other policies appear to allow officials to censor signs and publicity materials with unlimited discretion.”