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UMass ends campus speech policy that sparked lawsuit

June 26, 2018 GMT

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is ending a campus speech policy that a libertarian group alleged was unconstitutionally restrictive.

A school spokeswoman said Tuesday the nearly 30-year-old rule has been rescinded because it was rarely enforced and could be misinterpreted as a limitation on free speech.

The rule said protests and rallies using electronic amplification could occur only from noon to 1 p.m. on one side of the school’s student union.

A federal lawsuit filed in January by Young Americans for Liberty says the rule violates the First Amendment because it’s too broad.

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Cliff Maloney, the group’s president, says he applauds the university’s decision and hopes it sparks similar changes at other campuses.

The Virginia-based organization dropped the UMass lawsuit Monday. It has previously sued several other colleges over speech rules.