Fox Nation Shapiro: College Administrators Who Don't Protect Free Speech Must Be 'Held Accountable'
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Conservative commentator and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro joined David Webb on Fox Nation's "Reality Check" to discuss the government's role in protecting free speech on college campuses.
President Trump last month signed an executive order requiring colleges and universities to protect free speech on their campuses in order to qualify for federal research dollars.
Despite accepting "billions and billions of dollars from taxpayers," Trump said many universities "have become increasingly hostile to free speech."
"Taxpayer dollars should not subsidize anti-First Amendment institutions," he said. "Universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech."
Shapiro, who has seen protests to some of his speaking events on college campuses, said this type of government intervention is only necessary if the administration at state-based universities does not adequately protect guest speakers or the free speech rights of students.
"That doesn't mean that every protester needs to be arrested, but if protesters show up at an event and get violent or if they decide that they're going to shut down the event or disrupt the event to the point the event can't be held, then that obviously is a public disturbance, and it should be dealt with as such," Shapiro said.
"And if the administration refuses to do anything about that, then the administration should be held accountable," he added.
He argued, however, that those types of situations will likely be "few and far between."
"I'm pretty uncomfortable with the federal government getting involved in the business of First Amendment jurisprudence. That's what courts are for," Shapiro said. "Still, the president's executive order, which is really more advisory than anything else, doesn't do any harm. And I think that bringing some focus to the issue does some good."
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