Richard Spencer's Associates File Federal Lawsuit Against Ohio State | WOSU Radio

Richard Spencer's Associates File Federal Lawsuit Against Ohio State

Oct 23, 2017

An associate and organizer of campus tours for white nationalist Richard Spencer has followed through on threats to sue The Ohio State University after school officials refused to rent campus space for Spencer to speak.

The lawsuit was filed Sunday in federal court in Columbus. Ohio State officials said Friday the school had rejected the request for space after conferring with law enforcement authorities and considering Spencer's University of Florida appearance Thursday.

Their denial cited "substantial risk to public safety, as well as material and substantial disruption to the work and discipline of the University."

Florida administrators said the event cost the school more than $500,000 in additional security. At least five people were arrested, including three Texas men in connection with a shooting outside the event.

The Ohio State lawsuit was filed on behalf of Cameron Padgett, a Georgia State University graduate student and Spencer tour organizer. An Ohio State spokesman declined to comment Sunday about the lawsuit.

Similar lawsuits filed on behalf of Padgett are pending against Michigan State University and Penn State University, claiming a violation of Spencer's free speech rights.

The University of Cincinnati, after a similar legal threat, is allowing Spencer to speak.

Spencer organized the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., that broke out in violence. One woman died when an Ohio man with connections to white supremacy groups drove a car into a crowd of counter-protestors.