Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

University of Colorado Law Review


In March 2017, conservative author Charles Murray arrived to speak at Middlebury College in Vermont, invited by a student affiliate of the American Enterprise Institute. Murray planned to discuss his 2013 book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. Many Middlebury students and faculty, however, deplored Murray for an earlier book, 1994’s The Bell Curve, where he drew specious connections between race and intelligence. Others simply considered Murray an intellectual lightweight who didn’t warrant a speaking slot at the prestigious college. Murray’s critics objected to the Political Science Department’s co-sponsorship of his ppearance and the college president’s plan to make opening remarks. In addition, most of the campus community still felt shell-shocked from Donald Trump’s recent ascent to the presidency.


Free Speech, First Amendment, Political Protests, Charles Murray

Publication Citation

Gregory P. Magarian, When Audiences Object: Free Speech and Campus Speaker Protests Articles & Essays, 90 U. Colo. L. Rev. 551 (2019)