By Cassy Fiano-Chesser
A court has denied the preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by students from Michigan State University (MSU) against professor Amy Wisner after she required that they subscribe to her website, which funded Planned Parenthood and Wisner’s pro-abortion activism. According to Hayden Sledge of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), as the case proceeds in court, Wisner will not have to return the money to the students and is not required to stop seeking and accepting subscriptions to the site, for now.
Wisner allegedly required approximately 600 students enrolled in her class to sign up for The Rebellion Community, which her syllabus described as “a global social learning community,” at a cost of $99. Though students were told Wisner would not personally benefit from the donations, they eventually discovered she personally operated the site. She also said the funds would either be donated to Planned Parenthood or used to fund “an RV roadtrip around the United States to co-create communities of rebels.”
Two of the students, Nathan Barbieri and Nolan Radomski, sued, saying their money was given to an organization to which they are morally opposed. “My money is in the hands of Planned Parenthood,” Barbieri previously told Fox News. “For me, as a Christian, it’s our calling. We’re supposed to expose the bad things that happen and not just sit back and… be abused. That’s our job.”
Law360 reported that U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney ruled Wisner could not be barred from using forced subscriptions to fund political causes or be forced to return the fees as the case proceeds, as such an order would be “impracticable, impossible or would violate her First Amendment rights.”
He also said that because money is fungible, it would be impossible to prove conclusively that Wisner used the donations for political causes, and that political donations are protected speech anyway.
Wisner had claimed that she used the donations solely for operational expenses.
“The proper relief for a preliminary injunction arising from violations of free speech cannot be additional restrictions on free speech,” Maloney wrote, adding, “The record contains evidence that plaintiffs’ membership fees were not used for ideological purposes with which plaintiffs disagree.”
MSU already refunded the $99 students were forced to pay; Wisner was removed from the class, and was placed on leave from MSU.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.