Judge interjects to reject notion that universities are ‘bastions of free speech’

Courtney McLain

Ninth Circuit Court Judge Milan Smith interjected during attorney Daniel Ortner’s remarks with a jest on the state of higher education in America, as seen in a recent clip uploaded to X.

An attorney for the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), Ortner is seen presenting an oral argument defending conservative students’ free speech rights against California’s Clovis Community College.

“This court, and the Supreme Court, have repeatedly said that universities are bastions for free speech. They are important places for freedom of expression and debate …” states Ortner 

“Does it matter if that’s not true anymore?” Judge Smith jokingly interrupted.