A conservative student group is suing SUNY Binghampton University after school officials allowed radical protesters to shut down a lecture last year by renowned conservative economist Dr. Arthur Laffer.
Laffer was supposed to present a lecture titled “Trump, Tariffs, and Trade Wars” in November, but school officials were made aware that leftist students on campus planned to protest the event.
Instead of preserving order and keeping the protesters at bay, university officials stood by and allowed students to shout down Laffer and other conservative students with megaphones.
Four days before the lecture, members of the College Progressives student organization encouraged others on campus to “disrupt this disgusting space,” according to social media messages.
The day of the event, more than 200 students confiscated and destroyed event flyers, broke down the College Republicans’ event table, insulted the group’s members and even physically assaulted one student who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, according to a press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom.
College Republicans immediately called university police officers. But when the police arrived, they refused to disperse the mob and instead forced the College Republicans to leave the area.
The day of the lecture, College Republicans were escorted by a private security firm, which also offered personal protect to Laffer.
All that the group asked of the university was to ensure that they could hold their event without interruption. The university failed to do this, and when the event was disrupted, officials blamed College Republicans for opening their event up to the public.
“Everyone should be free to speak about their beliefs, especially on a public university campus,” ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer said in a statement.
“Instead, the student groups and Dr. Laffer encountered violent opposition to an extracurricular event that provided some deeply needed viewpoint diversity,” Langhofer continued. “Unfortunately, SUNY-Binghamton officials and police utterly refused to protect the First Amendment rights of its students and Dr. Laffer.”
Laffer said that his lecture should not have been controversial, noting that he gave two speeches at Yale University last year and received a warm welcome.
Regardless, he was met by angry Binghampton students who called him a “racist” and a “fascist,” he told Fox News back in November.