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University Of Cincinnati Asks Judge To Dismiss Richard Spencer Lawsuit

Chris O'Meara
Associated Press

The University of Cincinnati is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the organizer for white nationalist Richard Spencer's campus tour, calling it meritless.

The lawsuit filed last month, on behalf of Georgia college student Cameron Padgett, says the school won't rent space for Spencer to speak on campus unless he pays a $11,333 security and rental fee.

“The fee assessed is a mere fraction of the costs we anticipate incurring as a result of this event, but we hold firm in our efforts to respect the principles of free speech while maintaining safety on campus,” said university spokesperson Greg Vehr.

The University of Florida spent roughly $600,000 on security for Spencer's visit in October. But the lawsuit argues that requiring a high security fee because a speaker is controversial or prompts hostile reaction is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

On Thursday, the university questioned the lawsuit's timing, saying the organizer hadn't yet paid the fee or obtained required insurance.

University of Cincinnati previously said it would let Spencer speak. His attorney, Kyle Bristow, says the visit is planned March 14, during spring break.

Bristow has lawsuits pending against several schools, including The Ohio State University, for not allowing Spencer to speak. Kent State University also turned down a request for Spencer to speak on the anniversary of the National Guard shooting. Other schools, such as Michigan State University, have settled their own lawsuits and backed off refusals to let Spencer speak.