Cornyn Discusses Protests on College Campuses, Applauds UT Austin Response

On the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed the anti-Israel protests at college campuses across the country, including at the University of Texas at Austin, and highlighted the letter he sent with 26 of his Senate GOP colleagues to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, urging them to restore order to campuses that have been effectively shut down by antisemitic mobs targeting Jewish students. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video can be found here

“Impassioned debate is not a recent innovation, but there is a clear line between protesting and rioting and an even clearer line between free speech and violence.”

“In the wake of October 7, campuses have experienced a wave of antisemitic attacks targeting their Jewish students.”

“The First Amendment does protect speech, but it protects the right to protest peacefully. It does not give anyone the freedom to riot, to threaten or carry out acts of violence against other people, or to even violate the rules of their university.”

“Sadly, pro-Palestinian groups are continuing to create a threatening environment by attempting to occupy and disrupt some college campuses.”

“Last week, protests erupted at the University of Texas at Austin, where I live, but I'm glad to say the response there was far different than what you've seen in many other parts of the country. As hundreds of protesters attempted to occupy the campus, the university hasn't wavered in its commitment to preserve a safe environment for all of its students.”

“I'm glad the University of Texas at Austin made it clear that antisemitism has no place on its campus.” 

“Given the wave of protests across the country, the Biden administration must do more to combat antisemitism and ensure that every student has a safe place to learn.”

“The right to protest is fundamental to our democracy but… it does not grant anyone the ability to say or do whatever they want without consequences.” 


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