Christian students filed a lawsuit against a former Michigan State University (MSU) professor who allegedly required her students to buy a subscription to her political organization that donated to Planned Parenthood, a complaint shows.
The lawsuit alleges that Amy Wisner violated the students’ First Amendment rights when she forced her class to purchase a $99 subscription to “The Rebellion Community” that reportedly donated to Planned Parenthood. The students are represented by legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom and filed the lawsuit against Wisner on May 18.
“While Plaintiffs enjoy testing the mettle of their own views by exploring other ideas and perspectives in the context of their coursework — indeed, they believe this is part of the value of higher education — they do not wish to financially support the speech of others that contradicts their views, and they do not wish to become members of groups organized for the purpose of promoting messages that contradict their views,” the lawsuit reads.
Wisner reportedly wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post that all membership fees for Patriarchy Rebellion, a “safe place to coordinate our efforts to burn everything to the fucking ground” and linked to The Rebellion Community, were donated to Planned Parenthood. The plaintiffs seek a “declaratory judgement” that the requirement violates students’ First and Fourteenth amendment rights and an order requiring Wisner to return the collected funds.
“University professors can’t force students to finance and support political advocacy groups that express messages they disagree with. Nathan and Nolan simply want to get a business degree without being compelled to pay membership fees that will be donated to Planned Parenthood or support speech that directly contradicts their religious beliefs,” Logan Spena, ADF Legal Counsel, said in ADF’s Monday press release. “Michigan State officials have violated the First Amendment and federal civil rights laws by authorizing professors to force students to support speech antithetical to their deepest values and faith.”
CASE FILED: We are representing two @michiganstateu college students after a university professor forced students to fund and join a progressive political program that violates their deeply-held beliefs.
This is a clear violation of the #1A and federal civil rights laws.
— Alliance Defending Freedom (@ADFLegal) May 22, 2023
MSU reviewed the matter earlier this semester and reimbursed students in the course who bought the membership.
“The university does not generally comment on pending litigation,” Dan Olsen, MSU deputy spokesperson, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I can share that Amy Wisner is not currently employed by the university and the business college reimbursed students for the cost of their subscription.”
Wisner was a fixed-term faculty member at the MSU Broad College of Business. She is no longer listed on the university directory.
Wisner could not be reached for comment. ADF referred the DCNF to its press release.
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