Michigan State sued after rejecting speech space for white nationalist Richard Spencer

Michigan State University has been taken to court after it allegedly denied a request to rent space on campus for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak later this month.

Georgia State University student Cameron Padgett, who tried to rent a conference room at the on-campus Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, sued Sunday alleging the university is violating Spencer’s free speech.

MSU announced in August that it would deny the group space.

Michigan officials said in a statement at the time that the decision to deny the rental space was “due to significant concerns about public safety.” It mentioned the “tragic violence” in Charlottesville, Virginia where Heather Heyer was killed after a car drove into a crowd counterprostesting a white supremacist rally.

Spencer was scheduled to speak at the rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12.

In a message to the Associated Press on Sunday, Spencer praised Padgett as a “brave young man who has my full support.”

MSU has had controversial speakers on campus before, including Milo Yiannopoulous in December of last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.