Board of Trustees dropped from National Policy Institute lawsuit
MSU's Board of Trustees will be dismissed from the federal lawsuit brought against it and President Lou Anna K. Simon, by Cameron Padgett, Richard Spencer's college tour organizer.
Padgett is suing the university for denying his request to rent a room for Richard Spencer to speak in. He wants MSU to pay for all security costs associated with Spencer’s appearance on campus.
Padgett’s attorney, Kyle Bristow, offered to drop the board from the lawsuit and continue against Simon only. Judge Janet T. Neff agreed to the offer and when an amendment is filed, the board will be dropped.
Neff scolded both counsels for some of the language used in the motions filed.
Bristow’s motioned contained the phrase “hypothetical violence by the unincorporated and international collective of communists called Antifa,” and the attorneys for MSU have called Spencer “racist” and “divisive.”
“That kind of language is inflammatory and derogatory and really has no place in (court) proceedings,” Neff said. “I just am not going to tolerate it. As I said it just has not place in litigation or this courtroom.”
As proceedings move forward, Neff ordered the parties to participate in formal facilitation to potential reach an agreement without court intervention.
While the parties participate in that, court proceedings will also move along. Between filing amendments to the motions presented to the court and filing other briefs, it could be up to 91 days before another court date.
All the briefs and responses will be between the legal counsels, and the documents will not be filed with the court until either everything has been sent back and forth or the 91 days is reached.
There are two motions presented in the court. One is by Bristow asking for an injunction, which will allow Padgett to bring Spencer to campus. The other is through MSU’s counsel asking for a complete dismissal.
Bristow alleges MSU denying Padgett’s request to bring Spencer is a violation of Padgett’s First Amendment rights.
MSU’s counsel countered by saying the request was denied on the basis of safety and security concerns, not the content of Spencer’s potential speech.