Liberal Professor Sued-Forced Students To Pay Into Slush Fund
A Michigan State University (MSU) Professor is facing a lawsuit from two of her students after the professor allegedly forced her students to pay $99 each to help fund an outside left-leaning organization in which she played a significant role.
The lawsuit, which was filed under the ‘United States District Court Western District Of Michigan Southern Division,’ went into detail on how Amy Wisner, a professor of marketing at the MSU College of Business, convinced 600 students under her instruction to pay a $99 membership fee to join an outside organization called ‘The Rebellion Community’ to be part of her class.
The lawsuit document starts with its introduction about free speech.
1. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees
the right to speak and associate freely.
2. These rights each have a negative corollary. ‘[T]he right of freedom of
thought protected by the First Amendment against state action includes both the
right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all.’ Wooley v.
Maynard, 430 U.S. 705, 714 (1977). And, ‘[f]reedom of association therefore
plainly presupposes a freedom not to associate.’ Roberts v. United States Jaycees,
468 U.S. 609, 623 (1984).
3. When the government goes from restricting the chosen speech or
association of its citizens to compelling them to speak its message or associate
with its preferred confederates, ‘additional damage is done’ because ‘[f]orcing free
and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always
demeaning.’ Janus v. Am. Fed’n of State, Cnty., & Mun. Emps., Council 31, 138 S.
Ct. 2448, 2464 (2018).
4. The same harms occur when the government compels speech through
forced financial contributions, since ‘[c]ompelling a person to subsidize the speech
of other private speakers raises similar First Amendment concerns.’ Id.
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The lawsuit then details the connection between the case regarding MSU and the principles mentioned earlier.
5. In this case, officials of Michigan State University (the University)
have perpetrated these exact harms on Plaintiffs and hundreds of other students.
6. Using her authority under University policies to select “course
materials,” Defendant Wisner compelled each of her six hundred students to pay a
$99 membership fee to join an outside organization called “The Rebellion
The lawsuit explains how the professor and the organization she was funding used unethically obtained student dollars.
7. Defendant Wisner controlled The Rebellion Community and used the
membership fees to finance her own political advocacy and to support external
groups—including Planned Parenthood—that engage in political speech that is
antithetical to the Plaintiffs’ deeply held beliefs.
8. Plaintiffs bring this Complaint for compensatory and punitive
damages and declaratory and injunctive relief in order to halt Defendant Wisner’s
ongoing use of their funds to advance messages they disagree with and correct the University’s policies that, as applied, permit faculty to force Plaintiffs to finance and associate with external advocacy organizations as a condition of course
enrollment at the University.
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Michigan State professor forced students to pay $99 for left-wing causes: lawsuit https://t.co/dKwBuX06s2
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 22, 2023
Sophomore Students Nathan Barbieri and Nolan Radomski are the plaintiffs in the case and are being represented by attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom. In an interview with Fox News, the attorney, Logan Spena, explained that the money from the plaintiffs was used to engage in political activism that was ‘antithetical to [their] deeply held beliefs.’ The attorney then went on to say:
The Constitution protects everyone, both from being compelled to speak themselves and from being compelled to subsidize the speech of people they don’t want to promote, and this professor was simply using her position as a faculty at a university teaching a required course to require hundreds of students to do just that.
Instead of a specific monetary amount for damages, the plaintiffs are demanding that the school change its policy so professors can not require funding material that violates students’ First Amendment rights; they are seeking nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages from Wisner for ‘her purposeful violation of Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights.’
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