Penn State sued over request for Spencer to speak on campus

Richard Spencer
FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2016, file photo, Richard Spencer, who leads a movement that mixes racism, white nationalism and populism, speaks at the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas. Professor C. Christine Fair told The Associated Press on Monday, May 22, 2017, that the Old Town Sport&Health club in Alexandria, Va., informed her that it terminated the membership of Spencer following last Wednesday's confrontation in the gym where she called him a neo-Nazi. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A man who was turned down by Penn State for rental space to hold an appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer is suing the university.

Cameron Padgett, a Georgia university student, claims in the federal lawsuit filed Thursday the school violated his free speech rights by denying Spencer use of campus space.

Padgett’s seeking damages and an injunction to force Penn State to rent him a conference room or lecture hall.

The filing was made the same day as a planned speech by Spencer at the University of Florida, amid a large police and security response.

Penn State President Eric Barron denied Padgett’s request this summer, citing concerns a talk by Spencer could result in “disruption and violence.”

A Penn State spokesman offered no immediate comment on the lawsuit.

 

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