Pushback: University of Houston forced to allow free speech to settle lawsuit by conservatives

University of Houston: reluctantly forced to recognize the First Amendment

Bring a gun to a knife fight: When in December 2021, the University of Houston changed its anti-discrimination policy, broadening the definition so widely that almost anything anyone said could be defined as harassment, three conservative students obtained the help of the first amendment organization Speech First and sued. From their lawsuit [pdf]:

The Policy’s “[e]xamples of harassment” make clear that the Policy covers protected speech. Examples of harassment “include but are not limited to: epithets or slurs, negative stereotyping, threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts, denigrating jokes and display or circulation (including through email or virtual platforms) of written or graphic material in the learning, living, or working environment.”

Under the Policy, even “[m]inor verbal and nonverbal slights, snubs, annoyances, insults, or isolated incidents including, but not limited to microaggressions,” can constitute harassment if “such incidents keep happening over time and are targeting a Protected Class.” The Policy warns that “academic freedom and freedom of expression will not excuse behavior that constitutes a violation of the law or this Policy.” [emphasis mine]

In other words, according to the highlighted quote, the university’s anti-discrimination policy attempted to overide the First Amendment to the Constitution.
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Texas court says it is okay for Texas university to steal

Theft by government: The Texas appeals court has ruled that is acceptable for the University of Houston to use photos and intellectual material belonging to someone else without paying for it.

A Texas appeals court has ruled that the University of Houston does not have to pay the photographer of a picture it has been using in online and print promotional materials. Houston photographer Jim Olive says the university removed copyright markings from an image downloaded from his stock library, failed to credit him when it was used and wouldn’t pay when he sent a bill, but the university claims it has sovereign immunity and that it can’t be sued.

Worse, the court required the photographer to pay the university’s legal costs.