Victory in the Marketplace of Ideas
September 28, 2015
Fort Dodge, Iowa — September 28, 2015. A federal court in Iowa entered an order and judgment today in favor of Brian Henderson and against Iowa Central Community College (ICCC), ensuring Henderson’s right to pass out gospel tracts and engage willing listeners in friendly conversations in open areas of the public college campus about his Christian faith.
On March 26, 2014, Henderson was kicked off of ICCC’s campus for sharing his views about God and giving away gospel tracts. Campus officials branded Henderson’s expression “solicitation” and told him he could not speak anywhere on campus. Henderson pled with ICCC’s administration – all the way up to the Board of Directors – that he wasn’t soliciting anything from students, but they insisted his conduct was no different than the role of credit cards.
Left with no other alternative, Henderson turned to the Center for Religious Expression (CRE) for help, and CRE filed a lawsuit to defend Henderson’s right to speak in areas of ICCC campus which are open to the public.
Faced with this lawsuit, ICCC agreed to submit to a court order preventing them from using their solicitation policy to infringe on Henderson’s constitutional rights.
“Everyone has the right to share their beliefs,” said CRE Chief Counsel Nate Kellum. “This right is vital to ensure that our public colleges and universities remain a ‘marketplace of ideas.’”
Center for Religious Expression is a servant-oriented, non-profit 501(c)(3) Christian legal organization dedicated to the glory of God and the religious freedom of His people. For more information, visit http://www.crelaw.org.