court case that reached the Supreme Court
, ruling that public Universities
may charge student
fees to fund campus groups that a student may be fundamentally opposed to.
On April 2, 1996, three law students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison sued in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the university's mandatory student fee system. These student fees fund campus groups which a person may oppose the ideologies of. The Board of Regents and the university system defended the fee system.
On Nov. 29,1996 the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Southworth v. Grebe
granted summary judgement in favor of the three law students. The district court ruled that the fee
system violated the students' free-speech rights by compelling them to fund speech they disagreed
On August 10, 1998, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Southworth v. Grebe
upheld the district court decision in favor of the three students. The appeals court panel concluded
that the university funding of private polictial speech was not germane to its mission and that even if it
were the university did not have a compelling reason to require students to fund speech they
On Oct. 27, 1998, the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition for rehearing.
On March 29, 1999 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the 7th Circuit's decision.
The Supreme Court reached their decision in March, 2000.