Chief Justice John Roberts was the lone dissenting vote, saying the “challenged restrictions no longer exist. And the petitioners have not alleged actual damages.”
The decision about nominal damages for Uzuegbunam will go to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
The college released this statement Monday after the ruling: “Georgia Gwinnett College has supported and continues to support the rights of individuals to freely and openly share their thoughts and ideas on the College’s campus in accordance with the First Amendment. Georgia Gwinnett College cannot otherwise comment on pending litigation.”
A federal court judge in 2018 dismissed the lawsuit, saying the college resolved the main issues that sparked the legal challenge by making changes, such as allowing people to speak in any outdoor area of campus. The alliance appealed the judge’s ruling.
As the case wound its way through the courts, state lawmakers almost annually proposed laws aimed at creating additional measures to make it easier for groups to speak on campus.
Several groups hailed Monday’s ruling. ADF general counselor Kristen Waggoner said nominal damages are important because “if government officials are allowed to treat our rights as worthless, they will become worthless.”