At University of Michigan, discussions, threats of lawsuit as Spencer hopes to speak on campus

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel says the school is having discussions with alt-right leader Richard Spencer about allowing him to speak on campus.

Schlissel said there’s no guarantee Spencer will be allowed to use the campus if school officials cannot assure a reasonable amount of safety.

Spencer has been rebuffed by Texas A&M and drawn protests at the University of Florida, prompting safety concerns at schools around the country.

Spencer’s lawyer, Kyle Bristow, threatened a lawsuit on Twitter if Spencer is not allowed to speak. Bristow gave the university until Dec. 8 to decide on whether to allow the speech or face court action. 

Schlissel told a Board of Regents meeting late Tuesday that, while he rejects Spencer’s racist and anti-Semitic views, the University of Michigan is a public campus and not allowed to reject requests based solely on the content of the speech.

Cameron Padgett, a 29-year-old Georgia State University graduate student, has been attempting to book Spencer at campuses across the country.

Bristow, a self-proclaimed “alt-right” lawyer, has been threatening to sue schools that turn down the requests.

Spencer has been an unwelcome presence on many campuses after appearing at the violent rally in Charlottesville, where Heather Heyer was run down and killed by a white supremacist, and Gainesville, where racists fired a gun at protestors.