California State University-San Marcos informed a pro-life student organization last year that it would not help pay for the group to host Mike S. Adams, a pro-life criminology professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and Daily Wire contributor. In response, Adams pointed the student group to Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian non-profit organization, which has taken legal action against the university.
In an interview with The Daily Wire, Adams demonstrated why he's become a pro-free speech force to be reckoned with in academia — and why so many conservatives love him.
The lawsuit against CSU-SM stems from an all-too-familiar sequence of events: A conservative group, Students for Life, asked the student association to use funds provided by the student activity fee to help host a conservative speaker, Adams, so he could express his views on abortion at the Students for Life event. The request was denied.
ADF maintains that the problem with the decision is that it reveals a "double standard" that constitutes "viewpoint discrimination" against pro-life students. ADF's Sarah Kramer reports:
Students for Life cannot receive more than $500 in funding per semester and cannot use that funding for speakers. But [Students for Life president Nathan Apodaca] knew that this was not the case for a handful of favored student groups on campus. For example, the Gender Equity Center and the LGBTQA Pride Center receive more than $296,000 in student activity funding combined and regularly use those funds to bring in outside speakers and host events such as “Kink 101”—a workshop and discussion of bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism.
Not only that, but it turns out the Gender Equity Center and the Pride Center receive over 22 percent of the student activity fee funding. With over 100 student groups on campus, that translates to roughly 2 percent of the student organizations on campus receiving over 22 percent of the student activity fee funding. That just didn’t add up.
Kramer notes that the university's student association "does not have any guidelines or criteria to abide by when determining how to distribute these funds," opening up the possibility of favoring some groups over others. "This unequal treatment is viewpoint discrimination—a blatant violation of the Constitution," she writes.
Asked for comment about the case against CSU-SM, Adams didn't hold back.
"By my calculations, the $75 student activity fee spread across 17,000 students at CSU-San Marcos raises about 1.3 million dollars annually for the university," said Adams. "The vast majority of the money raised is spent on administrative salaries. This system does not promote free speech. It is just a jobs creation program for otherwise unemployable government bureaucrats."
While the university "cannot possibly win this case," he continued, "I predict that they will keep fighting because they are not fighting with their own money. They are using taxpayer resources in order to deprive taxpayers of their basic constitutional liberties."
And the criminology professor wasn't done: "The reason CSU-SM is fighting back in this case is not to preserve free speech. It is to preserve government jobs for ideological bigots," he said. "Most of the administrators in the CSU system call themselves pro-choice, but that that means something different to them. It means that they pick and choose the winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas. For administrators at CSU-SM, debate is passé. They have declared themselves to be the winners in the culture wars. Their goal is no longer to debate ideas. Their goal is the implementation of ideas. Their ideas."
Adams then offered some thoughts on a potential rebranding effort by the university: "Given their penchant for denying funding for pro-life speakers and instead spending fee money on events like 'Kink 101,' CSU-SM should consider changing its name to CSU-S&M."
Speaking of rebranding, Adams closed by arguing that many now calling themselves "liberals" are abusing the term. "There was a time when speaker bans were implemented against the left," he said. "Now, they are being implement by leftists. But do not call them liberals. Liberalism is predicated upon individual tolerance, not government censorship."