Richard Spencer speaks on the University of Florida campus on October 20. Credit: Courtesy of Lawson Nuland | Independent Florida Alligator

Lawyers representing white supremacist Richard Spencer have dropped a lawsuit filed against Ohio State for denying multiple requests to use campus space for a speaking event.

According to the Associated Press, Spencer’s new attorney — his previous attorney Kyle Bristow resigned last week amid surfacing of his insensitive comments about transgender people — plans to drop the suit against Ohio State.  

Bristow filed the lawsuit against Ohio State on Oct. 22 for Cameron Padgett, a Georgia State University student who made the requests for Spencer to speak on campus. 

Spencer, who has been touring college campuses this year for hosting racist speaking events, was denied three times from speaking at Ohio State.

The university denied the requests to allot Spencer space on the grounds of its University Space Rules, according to court documents.

Ohio State asserted the “use of University property must not, in any form, disrupt University business,” and “the University may limit access to or use of its space as may be necessary to provide for the orderly conduct of the University’s teaching, research, and service missions, the University’s administrative functions, and students’ campus-life activities.”

Additionally, the university stated in the court document that allowing Spencer to speak on campus could pose a “substantial risk to public safety, as well as material and substantial disruption to the work and discipline of the University.”

The university said the concerns are rooted in objective evidence stemming from previous speaking events Spencer has participated in, such as the white supremacist rally “Unite the Right,” which took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August and left a counter protester dead.

Additionally, the document lists the myriad resources required for the University of Florida to host Spencer in October, including a governor-declared state of emergency,  800 armed law enforcement officers on campus, and a security price tag of over $500,000.

Padgett, who has also sought to have Spencer speak at multiple educational institutions, was quoted in the Miami Herald as saying “I don’t want to get killed on campus” as the reason he has not invited Spencer to his own campus, a fact highlighted in a court document Ohio State filed in December in response to the suit.

Kolenich told the AP that litigation will continue against the University of Cincinnati to allow Spencer to speak on campus.


Update, 9:51 p.m., this article has been updated to include information on Ohio State’s response to the lawsuit filed for Richard Spencer against the university.