UNM's last conservative voice won't be silenced

UNM's last conservative voice won't be silenced

UNM's last conservative voice won't be silenced

New Mexico's flagship university is getting sued for its unconstitutional discrimination.

Cece O'Leary, director of legal initiatives for the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF), says her firm filed the federal lawsuit against the University of New Mexico (UNM) on behalf of a student chapter of Turning Point USA, "the last registered conservative student organization on campus."

"They feel this immense responsibility to be the conservative voice to their peers and to represent what is otherwise, unfortunately, a minority view on their campus," she details.

Last semester, the organization invited Riley Gaines (pictured above) to their campus to speak about her experience competing in swimming against a biological male while she was in college and about her advocacy for protection of women's opportunities in sports.

O'Leary, Cece (SLF) O'Leary

"When the university found out about their event request, they informed the students that the students would have to pay thousands of dollars in security fees and have over 30 police officers present at their 100-person event," O'Leary reports.

When the students were quoted more than $10,000 to cover a security fee, they wanted to know why. UNM admitted that it consistently charges higher fees for Turning Point USA's events.

"The university said in no uncertain terms that it made this decision based on Miss Gaines as an individual, her viewpoint, and the content of her speech, as well as past events that this Turning Point chapter has held," O'Leary relays. "So, this is obvious viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment."

Negotiations got the price tag down to a little over $7,500, and Gaines was able to speak. 27 police officers, including an arrest team, were on site. But some of them left early because only about 10 protestors showed up, and the event was mostly peaceful.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this week.