Federal judge blocks Kent State from charging conservative student group


Kaitlin Bennett, the organizer of an open-carry walk on Kent State’s main campus, walks back to her car with her personal security detail at the end of the walk on Sept. 29, 2018.

Brandon Bounds

A federal judge blocked Kent State from charging conservative student group Liberty Hangout an estimated $1,800 fee for an upcoming speaking event.

Liberty Hangout  filed a lawsuit against Kent State on Nov. 7 for attempting to charge it security fees for an upcoming event.

The group asked a federal judge to bar the university from issuing security costs for its event called  “Let’s Talk Gun Rights,” scheduled to be held in the KIVA on Nov. 19.

The event will feature Kaitlin Bennett, a Kent State alumna and gun rights activist, who organized an open-carry gun rights march at Kent State on Sept. 29.

Judge John Adams granted a temporary restraining order on the imposed security fees on Tuesday. Adams also echoed points made by the organization’s lawyers who argued that the university cannot shift the financial burden for security to student groups on the grounds that violent protesters are threatening to disrupt an event.

Adams said he was “gravely concerned” that imposing the fee would have an affect on the students’ and Bennett’s free-speech rights, according to Cleveland.com.

Adams is scheduled to rule on the student group’s request for a preliminary injunction that would continue the prohibition on charging the security fees on Dec 13.

Brandon Bounds is the TV2’s enterprise producer. Contact him at [email protected].