Defending Free Speech on Campus: Perspectives from Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and Chancellor Howard Gillman

Chemerinsky and Gillman are the co-authors of Free Speech on Campus, and have long defended free speech and academic freedom. (For another recent item from the two of them, see here [“Free speech doesn’t mean hecklers get to shut down campus debate”].) I don’t always agree with them on such matters, and I tend to disagree with them even more on other matters; but their thoughts on the subject are always interesting, and based on deep academic expertise. Here’s an excerpt from their Yahoo! News piece yesterday:
And from their S.F. Chronicle piece yesterday:

It is tempting to say that any advocacy of genocide should be banned and outside the scope of the First Amendment. That, though, is not and never has been the law. Allowing the government such a power of censorship would not be easily cabined. Some argue that what Israel is doing in Gaza is genocide. Could a university then ban speech supporting Israel? Those who oppose abortion have often described it as a form of genocide. Could a college so inclined ban all pro-choice speech?

The courts have been consistent that hateful speech is constitutionally protected. In the early 1990s, over 360 colleges and universities adopted hate speech codes. Every one, without exception, that has come to court was declared unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment….

And they argue that the right solution is a response to the speech, not restriction of the speech (though, in light of their AP piece, I take it that they think such a response should be a matter of each university’s judgment, rather than mandated by the Department of Education’s interpretation of Title VI):

[But] there is much that university officials can and should do besides punishing speech when there is hateful speech. Indeed, federal law requires that colleges not be “deliberately indifferent” when there is harassment. University officials have many tools, including using their voices to condemn hateful speech, providing educational programs and training about antisemitism and other types of bigotry, and providing support for students. If people are advocating genocide, that must be responded to as an abhorrent violation of campus values, even when the First Amendment does not permit the censorship or punishment of the individual speaker.