WATCH: 5 Big Questions for Rep. Greg Murphy
Rep. Murphy has introduced the Campus Free Speech Restoration Act, which would strengthen transparency and accountability surrounding First Amendment activity on campus.
He says free speech is the missing piece in campus communities, many of which have "diversity in everything except opinion."
Rep. Greg Murphy (NC-03) spoke with Campus Reform about his new Campus Free Speech Restoration Act, which would require schools to make their speech codes public and give students the right to appeal to the Department of Education if their free speech rights are not being respected.
Murphy tells Campus Reform that the bill was prompted by the overwhelming political bias that exists on so many college campuses. “When all you hear is one side of a view, and one side of a story, that’s not free speech,” he said.
As a former member of the Board of Trustees at Davidson University, Murphy says he was contacted by students and faculty who told him that they were being targeted for their conservative views. He said, of the professors, “If they did not teach by the line, they would not be seen favorably for tenure.”
Murphy, a medical doctor who practiced surgery for several decades prior to entering politics, likened the higher education system to the medical system. He said that problems within an organization can only be solved through awareness. “Actions speak louder than words, and what we’ve seen is very much inaction,” he said.
To remedy this, the Campus Free Speech Restoration Act would require public colleges to respect the First Amendment and private colleges to post their speech codes online. Murphy says that private colleges that accept federal student loan dollars have a duty to the public to uphold free speech. “As long as they’re going to get [federal funding], they need to be fair to everyone,” he said.
Murphy sees free speech as an antidote to critical race theory, which is being presented as fact in some college campuses. He said, “In history and in science, you’re supposed to use the data to come up with a conclusion. Critical race theory has the conclusion and then makes up the facts to fit that theory.”
Murphy noted that many colleges today have “diversity in everything except opinion.” The Campus Free Speech Act, he says, should be part of the solution.
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