Thomas Jefferson recognized that "to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical." At the same time, our nation's universities preserve a longstanding tradition of tolerating and even encouraging the propagation of all sorts of disbelieved opinions. We are asked today, in a case that involves competing concerns of the First Amendment, to resolve the conflict that occurs when Jefferson's "tyrannical" compulsion occurs in a collegiate setting. On the one hand, university students oppose as compelled speech and association their college's allotment of a portion of their mandatory student activity fee to an organization whose speech and actions they reject. On the other hand, the university, by disbursing the fee proceeds to a variety of campus groups, aims to foster spirited and uninhibited debate about campus and public issues. We hold that a state university may constitutionally allocate students' activity fees to a group with whose speech some students disagree, as long as that organization spends the equivalent of the students' contribution on campus and thus serves the university's substantial interests in collecting the fee. We also hold that a campus group may not define its membership to include all fee paying students, but may extend membership only to those who seek it.
Miner '56, Roger J., "Carroll v. Blinken, 957 F. 2d 991 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1992" (1992). Circuit Court Opinions. 356.