Ohio school says fee “fraction” of likely Spencer visit cost
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit against the University of Cincinnati over white nationalist Richard Spencer’s planned appearance (all times local):
The University of Cincinnati says the security fee for white nationalist Richard Spencer’s planned campus appearance represents “a mere fraction” of the school’s anticipated costs.
UC spokesman Greg Vehr (veer) says the school will work with its legal team for a response in court to a newly filed lawsuit by Spencer’s campus tour organizer.
The federal lawsuit says requiring a security fee of nearly $11,000 is discriminatory and unconstitutional and seeks $2 million in damages and a court order for a “reasonable” fee. The suit names UC’s president as the defendant.
The UC statement Tuesday says the school holds firm in respecting free-speech principles while maintaining safety on campus.
Attorney Kyle Bristow has said Spencer will speak March 14, during spring break, but UC has said there’s no contract yet.
White nationalist Richard Spencer’s campus tour organizer is suing the University of Cincinnati’s president, saying the school wouldn’t rent space for Spencer to speak on campus unless a nearly $11,000 security fee was paid.
An attorney for Spencer and organizer Cameron Padgett says requiring such payment because a speaker is controversial or prompts hostile reaction is discriminatory and unconstitutional. The federal lawsuit filed Monday seeks $2 million in damages and an order requiring the school to rent the space for a reasonable fee.
The school didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment Tuesday.
UC previously said it would let Spencer speak. His attorney, Kyle Bristow, said the visit was planned March 14, during spring break.
Bristow has lawsuits pending against several other schools for not allowing Spencer to speak.