- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - House members want to guarantee students’ right to distribute the Constitution on college campuses, though there’s no example in South Carolina of anyone being stopped from doing so.

The House voted 84-29 on Tuesday to bar public colleges from restricting anyone’s ability to distribute copies of the U.S. or state constitutions on campus, as long as it doesn’t disrupt class. The approved budget clause specifies distribution is OK at an athletic event.

Democratic Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg says it’s another example of legislators using the state budget to micro-manage colleges. She questioned why it’s even needed.

Rep. Todd Atwater says he made the proposal after a college student in Modesto, Calif., was blocked last year from handing out the Constitution. The Lexington Republican says he’s protecting free speech rights.

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