EXCLUSIVE – A Michigan State University (MSU) professor has been sued for allegedly forcing her students to pay $99 each to her personal political advocacy organization, which ultimately helped fund Planned Parenthood and other left-leaning causes and allegedly violated the students’ free speech rights.
According to a lawsuit filed Thursday, Amy Wisner, professor of marketing at the MSU College of Business compelled each of her 600 students to pay a $99 membership fee to join an outside organization called “The Rebellion Community” as a condition of participation in her course.
The court document says Wisner controlled The Rebellion Community and used the membership fees to finance her own political advocacy and to support external groups like Planned Parenthood and progressive causes dedicated to “dismantling oppressive systems.”
Attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom are representing students Nathan Barbieri and Nolan Radomski who say that their money was used by their professor to engage in political speech that is “antithetical to [their] deeply held beliefs,” and therefore their First Amendment rights were violated.
“The Constitution protects everyone, both from being compelled to speak themselves and from being compelled to subsidize the speech of people they don’t want to promote,” ADF Attorney Logan Spena told Fox News Digital in an interview.
“And this professor was simply using her position as a faculty at a university teaching a required course to require hundreds of students to do just that.”
According to the complaint Wisner used the funds collected from students — to the tune of around $60,000 — to also purchase an RV.
The lawsuit says that, “when the government goes from restricting the chosen speech or association of its citizens to compelling them to speak its message or associate with its preferred confederates, ‘additional damage is done’ because ‘[f]orcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always demeaning.’”
“The same harms occur when the government compels speech through forced financial contributions, since ‘[c]ompelling a person to subsidize the speech of other private speakers raises similar First Amendment concerns,’” the complaint says.
Michigan State University entrance sign. (Getty Images)