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Organizations file lawsuit against Binghamton University administrators, others

Binghamton University Flag

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Two organizations filed a federal lawsuit against Binghamton University administrators, the university's police chief, a student organization, a non-student organization and a non-profit, according to documents filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.

According to court documents filed Wednesday, Young America's Foundation and Binghamton University College Republicans filed suit for what it calls constitutional violations. The suit named B.U. President Harvey Stenger and Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Rose as defendants. It also listed the university's police chief, John Pelletier, as well as the Student Association of Binghamton University, College Progressives, and Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow.

The plaintiffs stated that on November 14, 2019, another group descended on a tabling event where Binghamton University College Republicans were promoting a lecture four days later featuring Dr. Arthur Laffer. The group then turned over the table, leading to an altercation.

The lawsuit accused campus police of doing "nothing to protest the BUCR's (Binghamton University College Republicans) right to free speech and SUNY-Binghamton administrators took no actions to hold the responsible individuals accountable."

The suit also accused College Progressives and Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT) of protesting Dr. Laffer's speech on November 18, 2019. The plaintiffs stated that administrators "took action to make the planned disruption easier by providing the leftist agitators with a room immediately adjacent to the lecture hall in which Dr. Laffer would be speaking."

After receiving a copy of the 75-page lawsuit, 12 News obtained a statement from Binghamton University.

"As an institution of higher education, freedom of speech is fundamental to our core mission; academic inquiry and the exchange of ideas rest on the principle that all have a right to express their beliefs.

Binghamton University maintains that we acted consistent with this mission and with the requirements of the First Amendment and we will respond to the complaint accordingly."

Binghamton University statement

To lawsuit is posted below:

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