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Backers Of Richard Spencer Drop Lawsuit Against Ohio State

Chris O'Meara
Associated Press

Lawyers for associates of white nationalist Richard Spencer have moved to withdraw their lawsuit against The Ohio State University, which denied the white nationalist a space to speak on campus.

Court records show the sides filed an agreement of voluntary dismissal on Tuesday evening.

Last year, Georgia college student Cameron Padgett sued Ohio State after the university refused to book Spencer a space on campus. The school cited security concerns as their reason for rejecting the request.

Attorney James Kolenich recently took over as lead counsel in the case after Michigan attorney Kyle Bristow abruptly withdrew, citing unflattering media coverage. Now, Kolenich and Padgett have decided voluntarily to drop their suit, without a settlement or other legal deal.

However, Kolenich told the Associated Press he will continue a separate lawsuit against the University of Cincinnati

As an organizer for the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank, Padgett and Bristow had been waging lawsuits against universities for months. They'd previously won settlements at Michigan State University, Auburn University, and other schools that have since allowed Spencer to speak.

Indeed, Spencer spoke on Monday night at Michigan State amid protests. In Ohio, though, several universities have put up a fight.

The University of Cincinnati offered several dates for Spencer's speech, but requested security fees of over $11,000. Bristow sued, calling the costs excessive and a violation of free speech. Amid the legal standoff, the University of Cincinnati canceled the event - which was planned for March 14, during spring break.

Kent State University also turned down a request for Richard Spencer to speak, after Padgett attempted to schedule an event on the anniversary of the National Guard shooting.

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.