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University of Minnesota being sued over campus speaker

Conservative groups claiming their free speech was suppressed.

Posted: Jul. 3, 2018 5:29 PM
Updated: Jul. 3, 2018 5:31 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Conservative groups are suing the University of Minnesota, arguing that the school violated their free speech rights by moving a conservative speaker to its smaller St. Paul campus.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday asks a federal court to declare the groups' First Amendment rights were violated and seeks an unspecified amount of money.

Students for a Conservative Voice and the Young America's Foundation invited conservative speaker Ben Shapiro to speak in February.

They wanted to hold the event in a 1,000-seat hall on the main Minneapolis campus. But university officials cited safety concerns and moved the event to a 400-seat ballroom in St. Paul.

The groups allege the university has a "Speech Suppression Policy."

Shapiro is a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

University officials say they are reviewing the lawsuit.

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