September 26, 2017 / 4:00 PM / a year ago

U.S. Justice Dept to step up protections of speakers at colleges

WASHINGTON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department plans to step up efforts to enforce and protect free speech rights on America’s college campuses, where protesters have increasingly been silencing speakers they find offensive, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday.

In prepared remarks, Sessions complained that protesters are silencing speakers, and said the department plans to file a brief in a college free speech case this week.

Protesters “are now routinely shutting down speeches and debates across the country in an effort to silence voices that insufficiently conform with their views,” he said in prepared remarks. He cited concerns about multiple incidents at college campuses around the country, including the University of California at Berkeley, Middlebury College in Vermont, Brown University in Rhode Island and Virginia Tech University.

Several student protesters gathered outside Georgetown University Law School where Sessions was set to deliver the speech.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by David Gregorio

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