Ohio school faces deadline on white nationalist decision
By DAN SEWELL, Associated Press
CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio college faced a deadline Friday in a threatened lawsuit that would make it the latest university sued over white nationalist Richard Spencer’s campus tour.
Attorney Kyle Bristow had told Kent State University it has until the end of business Friday to agree to rent space at an “acceptable date and time.”
Tour organizer Cameron Padgett wanted Spencer to speak at Kent on the May 4 anniversary of Ohio National Guard shootings that killed four students during anti-war protests in 1970. The university said it couldn’t accept the request because early May was too busy with activities around the end of the academic year.
A Kent State spokesman said Thursday that the school’s earlier statement still stood.
Several other schools including Ohio State University and Cincinnati are in litigation over Spencer.
Bristow had said last year that Spencer planned to speak March 14 on the University of Cincinnati campus, but the school said there was no contract in place and the two sides are now in a legal standoff over the school’s demand for a security fee of nearly $11,000.
Bristow sued UC last month, saying requiring such payment because a speaker is controversial or prompts hostile reaction is discriminatory and unconstitutional. The university said it expected to spend much more on security than the fee. The March date falls during the school’s spring break.
UC on Feb. 2 asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit as meritless, saying the organizer hadn’t paid the fee or obtained required insurance.
Spencer was a scheduled speaker at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August that led to deadly violence when a man struck and killed a protester with his car.
Spencer has popularized the term “alt-right” to refer to a fringe movement that’s a mix of white nationalist, white supremacist, anti-Semitic and anti-immigration beliefs.
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