The Washington Times

Charges Dropped Against Former College Student Who Handed out Constitution on Campus

May 17, 2023

(The Washington Times)—Authorities have dropped all charges against an Arizona State University student who was arrested last year on trespassing charges after he set up a table to distribute copies of the Constitution without permission.

Attorneys representing Tim Tizon, a senior at the time of the incident last spring, announced this week that state prosecutors had agreed to drop all charges. That came in response to an appeal Mr. Tizon filed in January via the Liberty Justice Center, a Chicago-based nonprofit law firm.

“Free Speech is the cornerstone of American values,” Mr. Tizon said in reply. “It is refreshing to see that the Arizona justice system finally recognizes this after more than a year of wrongful prosecution.”

The Office of Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat elected in November to succeed Republican Mark Brnovich, did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.

An ASU spokesperson confirmed in an email that the state had dropped the trespassing charges but stressed that Mr. Tizon had occupied a “reservable spot” without permission.

“Mr. Tizon was not arrested for handing out Constitutions on campus. He refused to vacate a spot reserved for student and other university group tabling events,” Gerardo Gonzalez, ASU’s assistant director of media relations and strategic communications, told The Washington Times.

Individuals are welcome to walk around and hand out literature on most of the Tempe campus outside of the student union area, Mr. Gonzalez added in an email.

“Mr. Tizon was given numerous opportunities to relocate, but he refused,” Mr. Gonzalez said. “He was then … cited by university police, as authorized under Arizona law.”

ASU police arrested Mr. Tizon at the Memorial Union on March 3, 2022, on charges of third-degree criminal trespassing.

Mr. Tizon belongs to Young Americans for Liberty, an Austin, Texas-based network of libertarian students, and had draped a table with their logo in a plaza outside the student union.

In October, the state-run University Lakes Justice Court found him guilty, ordering him to pay a fine and perform community service.

Mr. Tizon argued in his appeal that the space was public and nobody had reserved the spot where he set up his table.