After The Ohio State University said they would look into “alternatives” to allow white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus, Spencer’s lawyer gave the school a new deadline of Friday, Oct. 20 to respond to their requests.
In a letter to Ohio State on Tuesday, Michigan attorney Kyle Bristow said he seeks “an unequivocal and unconditional assertion that Ohio State University will in fact permit my client, Cameron Padgett, to rent a publicly available room on a date to be determined for Richard Spencer to speak.”
Bristow said he will file suit against the university, seeking monetary damages and an injunction, if the school does not meet their deadline.
Padgett, a Georgia State student, contacted both Ohio State and the University of Cincinnati in September, on behalf of the National Policy Institute, about renting space.
University of Cincinnati president Neville G. Pinto announced last Friday that they would “uphold the First Amendment and allow Richard Spencer to speak on campus,” after Bristow threatened to sue earlier in the week.
Ohio State senior vice president Christopher Culley, however, said on Friday the school could not accommodate Bristow’s request “without substantial risk to public safety” but is considering “other alternatives.” Bristow responded that his lawsuit against the school was “on hold.”
Ohio State spokesperson Ben Johnson said on Tuesday that the school’s position has not changed since then.
“The trampling upon the First Amendment by university bureaucrats who have no respect for the right of free speech will in no way be tolerated by Padgett,” wrote Bristow in his letter.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency this week in preparation for Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida of Gainesville. That school also rejected Spencer’s request at first, before ultimately backing down.
The National Policy Institute is paying the University of Florida over $10,000 for facility rental and security, but additional security is expected to cost the school and state and local agencies more than $500,000.
Bristow is seeking to schedule Spencer’s speech at Ohio State for sometime this winter.