ASU student protesters denied motion to lift their suspension from university

A judge in Arizona has denied a motion that would have lifted the suspension of twenty students arrested last week amid anti-Israel protests. 

The U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona denied the Arizona State University students’ motion to have their college suspensions lifted on Friday, according to local outlet ABC 15.

The defendants filed the lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents on Tuesday, alleging that their suspension from ASU is causing “irreparable harm” due to their inability to enroll in classes.


Arizona State University protests

Protesters and law enforcement officers face off on the Alumni Lawn at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. (Rey Covarrubias Jr. / USA TODAY NETWORK)

The students, who are charged with trespassing, also alleged that the suspensions violate their First Amendment rights.

Approximately 72 individuals were arrested on Apr. 26 and taken into custody while continuing protests on the Arizona State University campus. 

Police officers cleared the Old Main lawn area overnight — those arrested included both students and faculty. 


Arizona State University protests

Pro-Palestinian protesters calling for an end to fighting in Gaza gather on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, with some planning to camp out overnight on April 26, 2024. (Rey Covarrubias Jr./The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Judge John Tuchi ruled that the students did not provide sufficient evidence that their First Amendment rights had been violated.

He also ruled that there was insufficient evidence that the university’s suspension of students was causing “irreparable harm.” The trespassing charges at the heart of the lawsuit have yet to be brought to court.

Students and faculty have demanded the university drop any charges against the protesters with ongoing demonstrations since the arrests.

Arizona State University protests

Arizona State University alumnus Tarteel Alimam speaks as students gather at Alumni Lawn at ASU Tempe Campus for a news conference concerning protests on campus. ( Megan Mendoza/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Another institution of higher learning in the state — the University of Arizona — is embroiled in its own struggle to suppress protesters occupying areas of the campus.

University president Robert C. Robbins said in a May 1 statement that he directed university officials, campus police, Tucson Police and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office to “immediately enforce campus use policies and all corresponding laws without further warning.”

State troopers were seen on campus with pepper ball guns and gas masks. Demonstrators were initially given a 10:30 p.m. deadline to leave or face arrest, although arrests did not begin until much later.

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