Michigan Supreme Court rules MSU ordinance violates free speech

Jul 27, 2012

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that a Michigan State University ordinance is unconstitutional today.

Back in 2008, MSU law student Jared Rapp received a parking ticket on campus. Rapp reportedly yelled at the parking attendant, took his photo and demanded his name. 

By causing a disturbance, Rapp violated an MSU ordinance prohibiting anyone from disrupting a university employee’s official business. He was placed on probation for two years, ordered to perform 80 hours of community service and fined $873.

Rapp’s attorney, Nick Bostic, argued that the state's high court should strike down the ordinance as it violated Rapp's right to free speech.

In the 5-2 decision today, the court threw out Rapp's misdemeanor conviction.

This isn't the first free speech kerfuffle for the university this year.  Back in March, the Huffington Post ranked Michigan State on its list of "12 Worst Schools for Free Speech" for the second for it's policy on email "spamming."

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom