Conversely, though, things like Duncan Hunter’s new plan to cut off funding to Columbia University is a real free speech issue. The university really has the right to stage an asinine publicity stunt if it wants to without the federal government stepping in.
Except that cutting off funding isn’t “stepping in” — it’s stepping out. Columbia doesn’t have any right to taxpayer dollars; withholding them, for whatever reason, has precisely nothing to do with free speech.
Related: The Supreme Court’s unanimously ruling in Rumsfeld v. FAIR, which upheld the Solomon Amendment.