Florida State University will pay $10,000 in damages and “nearly $85,000 in attorneys’ fees” to settle a federal lawsuit after the student government removed its president, Jack Denton, a Catholic student leader.
Alliance Defending Freedom announced the settlement details in a news release.
The conservative legal nonprofit represented Denton, the former president of the FSU Student Senate, who was removed by his peers after someone leaked his comments in a private Catholic student chat.
Denton had “suggested that BlackLivesMatter.com, Reclaim the Block, and the ACLU all advocate for causes opposed to Catholic teaching, and that Catholic students may wish to avoid supporting the organizations financially,” according to ADF. The comments came last summer, soon after George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
“Today’s college students are our future legislators, judges, and voters,” Tyson Langhofer, an attorney with the group said. “That’s why it’s so important that public universities model the First Amendment values they’re supposed to be teaching students.”
“If universities are to be restored to their rightful role as marketplaces of ideas, university administrators must stop cowering behind their desks,” Langhofer said in an essay for The Daily Wire. University should “courageously stand up to the cancel-culture mob seeking to destroy higher education.”