An Arizona State University student is to sue the school and its radio station for violating her First Amendment rights. The journalism student was fired from the university’s radio station after pointing out that Jacob Blake had sexual assault charges.
Just as we said at the time of the incident, Arizona State University is a publically funded facility and is therefore bound by the First Amendment.
In August, Rae’Lee Klein shared a New York Post article on Blake’s arrest and wrote: “Please read this article to get the background of Jacob Blake’s warrant. You’ll be disgusted.”
Simply telling people to read into Blake’s criminal history was enough to get her fired.
The warrant claims that Blake sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend during a home invasion, where he stole credit cards and a car. Blake is alleged to have been trying to kidnap a child at the time he was shot.
That tweet led to Klein’s firing from Blaze Radio, a radio station affiliated with ASU, likely because of the student uproar it caused on campus. The six-member campus board demanded that she resign. When she refused, student programming was canceled so that all the radio could do was play music.
A university administrator, Kristin Gilger, tried to intervene by offering Klein a transfer to another post within the school of journalism. When she refused the offer, she was fired.
Klein is now suing the university for firing her. Her lawyer, Jack Wilenchik, sent a letter to the university’s administration demanding that Klein get rehired to her former position, or they provide a settlement for infringing on her First Amendment rights.
“Rather than support Ms. Klein’s efforts to exchange contrary facts or views, the University has instead taken actions which tend to suggest that it joined the chorus of immature voices seeking to censor Ms. Klein and remove her from her professional position,” the letter reads.
The university is yet to respond.
We obtained a copy of the letter for you here.
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