Should Colorado's public universities be allowed to ban whoever they want from campus? That's the question the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado wants answered in court. The group has filed a suit accusing officials at Adams State University of wrongfully banning former assistant professor of mass communications Danny Ledonne from campus -- and threatening him with arrest.
Before his ban, Ledonne wrote articles critical of university administrators on his website, WatchingAdams.org. ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein said in a statement: “Not only were Danny Ledonne’s First Amendment rights violated when university officials retaliated against him for operating a website criticizing their policies, the ban was issued without notice or an explanation of the evidence being used to support it, which violated his constitutional right to due process."
The university, however, said Ledonne is a potential safety risk. ASU said in a statement to CPR News: "We look forward to making the case that the University’s actions were based solely on evidence and the belief that Mr. Ledonne’s longstanding pattern of inappropriate actions and threatening statements required us to act in an abundance of caution to protect our students, faculty and staff."
Denver Attorney Reid Neureiter is representing Ledonne in the case filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado. He says it has implications for the freedom of the state's residents to visit public universities. Officials for Adams State University declined an invitation to join the interview.
Neureiter spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.