In a victory for free speech, the State of Arizona has dropped all charges against former ASU student Tim Tizon.
Tizon was arrested and convicted of trespassing for distributing copies of the U.S. Constitution to his fellow students on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus in March 2022. Tizon was representing his university’s Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) student organization at the time of his arrest. Tizon was convicted in University Lakes Justice Court and ordered to pay a fine and perform community service. On January 26, the Liberty Justice Center filed an appeal on Tizon’s behalf.
Rather than defend the obvious violation of Tizon’s First Amendment rights, the State filed a court motion announcing that it would drop the charges, vacating Tizon’s conviction and sentence.
Tim Tizon described relief in finally seeing movement towards justice: “Free speech is the cornerstone of American values,” he said. “It is refreshing to see that the Arizona justice system finally recognizes this after more than a year of wrongful prosecution.”
“Arizona State has used its speech and assembly restrictions to harass activists such as Tim for years,” said JP Kirby, Director of Student Rights at YAL, the organization Tizon was representing at the time of his arrest. “ASU officials showed how much more the school values its own bureaucratic processes than the freedom of its students. I’m glad to see the state acknowledge that Tim’s rights outweigh the school’s desire to prosecute a student trying to share the Constitution with his classmates.”
Jacob Huebert, President of the Liberty Justice Center, spoke to the status of the case: “What could be more obviously constitutional than handing out copies of the Constitution? We’re pleased the State has finally recognized the force of our arguments, but now we expect ASU to update its policies to fully protect the rights of all students to speak on campus.”
The Liberty Justice Center’s case filings are available here.