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LOGIN | REGISTER ACLU to sue University over sign policy


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Lawsuit claims dorm window restrictions unconstitutional
by Ryan Kost published on Friday, January 21, 2005
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The American Civil Liberties Union is expected to file a lawsuit this week against the University
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for a policy prohibiting students from hanging signs in their dorm room windows.
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ENTERTAINMENT ACLU attorney Nick Hentoff said the policy violates freedom of speech because Residential Life continues to
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make changes to the policy, such as an amendment that allows students to hang unaltered American flags.
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COMICS "When they have a policy that's supposed to be a content-neutral policy but then they make an exception
for [unaltered] American flags, it demonstrates the facial invalidity of the policy," Hentoff said.
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SPORTS Hentoff said he thought the suit would be settled early in the proceedings by summary judgment if it is
determined the policy directly violates the law.
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"What they have is a clearly unconstitutional policy," he added.

AD DIRECTORY Laura Thorson, a political science and history sophomore, and Hayley Ivins, a biology and society
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sophomore, two ASU students who fought the policy last semester, are joining the ACLU as plaintiffs in the
case, but said they felt uncomfortable commenting on the issue until the suit has been filed.
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The Residence Hall Association, a group of students that represents ASU dorm residents, decided last
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semester to support the policy.
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RHA President Hanna Ricketson said support would continue, but the issue could be revisited if necessary.
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DEVIL DEALS "Our end decision was that we supported the idea of having a policy because we felt that [free speech] is
such a gray area," she said.
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LETTERS TO THE Physics sophomore and Hayden West resident Megan Brown said she thinks the lawsuit might be extreme.
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"I think the policy needs to change, but I don't know if it needs to go that far," she said.
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RIDE BOARD In addition to the suit, Hentoff said a preliminary injunction that prevents the enforcement of the policy
would be in place until an outcome is reached.
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SPM ASU General Counsel could not be reached for comment.

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Reach the reporter at rkost@asu.edu.
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