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Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions said free speech is 'under attack' on US college campuses


Updated September 26, 2017 12:33 PM EDT

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday said that "freedom of of thought and speech on the American campus are under attack" during a speech at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

"The American university was once the center of academic freedom - a place of robust debate, a forum for the competition of ideas," he said.


"But it is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogenous thought, a shelter for fragile egos," Sessions added.

"This is not right. This is not in the great tradition of America. And yet, school administrators bend to this behavior. In effect, they coddle and encourage it."

Updated September 26, 2017 11:21 AM EDT

Protesters gather in front of Georgetown University Law Center ahead of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' speech.

Many faculty members and students plan on protesting Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.

The Post reported Sessions will discuss free speech on college campuses at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Multiple Georgetown Law faculty members and students plan on demonstrating against Sessions due to the Trump administration’s handling of free speech issues.

A group of the school’s faculty members on late Monday, for example, voiced concern about Sessions addressing the topic on their campus.

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“We acknowledge our colleague’s right to invite Attorney General Sessions to speak on campus,” they said in a statement.

“However, we, the undersigned, condemn the hypocrisy of Attorney General Sessions speaking about free speech,” the group continued.

“A man who fails to recognize paradigmatic violations of the First Amendment is a poor choice to speak about free speech on campuses.”

Some Twitter users on Tuesday debated how Georgetown University is hosting Sessions, America’s top law enforcement official.

The Post reported that the Georgetown Center for the Constitution is hosting Sessions at the school.

Lauren Phillips, a student at Georgetown, said in an email late Monday that more than 130 students were told they could attend after registering for a seat via official channels.

School officials later told the students, however, they could only protest Sessions in a designated “free speech zone” on campus.

“We hope in the future that the University will truly uphold the principles of free speech, including the right to dissent,” Phillips said.

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Georgetown Law spokeswoman Tanya Weinberg on Monday said that the invitations for the event were issued in the same fashion as normal.

Weinberg said the school’s policy states that the hosting organization determines the guest list for events like Sessions’ speech.

The Georgetown Center for the Constitution opted to invite students who have attended past events it hosted, according to Weinberg.

Weinberg added that Randy Barnett, the center’s director, also invited students from his classes to hear Sessions.

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