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Constitutional Law

Apr. 18, 2024

USC had legal right to cancel speech, legal experts say

First Amendment scholars warned that similar disputes over speech are likely to rage this year as Israel battles Hamas terrorists and the U.S. heads toward a contentious election.

Commencement season got off to a turbulent start this week when the University of Southern California cancelled a speech by its valedictorian at graduation ceremonies next month, declaring that “tradition must give way to safety.”

Legal observers, even those critical of the decision, said they believed USC had the authority to do that. The student, Asna Tabassum, gave no indication in a statement that she would file a lawsuit seeking injunc...

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