Alito warns of ‘declining’ support for free speech on college campuses

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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said there is “declining” support for free speech on college campuses as pro-Palestine protests take place at universities across the country.

As part of a commencement address he gave at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Catholic Ohio college, Alito said support for the freedom of speech is “declining dangerously.”

“Right now in the world outside this beautiful campus, troubled waters are slamming against some of our most fundamental principles,” Alito said, reported first by NBC News.

“Support for freedom of speech is declining dangerously,” he said, adding that it’s especially so on college campuses where the exchange of ideas should be protected.

He said that “very few colleges live up to that ideal.”

Students at more than 400 universities across the country, from the Ivy Leagues to small colleges, have held protests asking for their schools to divest from Israeli companies or companies with ties to Israel as the war between Israel and Hamas continues.

Alito, who is Catholic, told the students that freedom of religion is “also imperiled.”

“When you venture out into the world, you may well find yourself in a job, or community or a social setting when you will be pressured to endorse ideas you don’t believe, or to abandon core beliefs,” he said. “It will be up to you to stand firm.”

In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court is set to issue major rulings in a series of issues, including whether former President Trump is immune from prosecution and abortion rights.

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