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Texas students ask Supreme Court to block university’s drag show ban

via 12 News Now
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Students at West Texas A&M University are asking the Supreme Court to intervene in their appeal challenging the university president’s ban on drag events on campus.

The president had canceled a charity drag show, comparing drag to blackface.

“Does a drag show preserve a single thread of human dignity? I think not,” president Walter Wendler wrote.

“I will not appear to condone the diminishment of any group at the expense of impertinent gestures toward another group for any reason, even when the law of the land appears to require it,” Wendler wrote.

The students sued, alleging violation of free speech rights, but lower courts declined to issue an injunction allowing their next planned show.

“As a consequence, the university is poised to repeat and perpetuate its act of censorship, preventing the planned annual performance this coming March 22, 2024,” the students stated in the motion.

“In this unique circumstance, only this Court can halt an ongoing violation of two of the most fundamental First Amendment protections: the bars against prior restraint and viewpoint-based censorship,” they said.

They have now appealed directly to the Supreme Court, arguing only it can halt the ongoing censorship in time for their March event.

Their case is part of several legal battles nationwide over drag show restrictions.

Some state laws have been struck down as unconstitutional, while the Supreme Court so far has declined to take up related cases, though some conservative justices appear interested in LGBTQ rights issues.

“Indeed, First Amendment protection has been extended to all types of activities, even some that seem untasteful to society,” District Judge David Hittner wrote.

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