White nationalist, Ohio State ending lawsuit

CINCINNATI (AP) — Lawyers for white nationalist Richard Spencer’s campus tour efforts and for Ohio State University have notified a federal judge a lawsuit supporting Spencer has been withdrawn.

Court records show they filed a document Tuesday evening agreeing to a voluntary dismissal.

An attorney for Spencer’s side told The Associated Press that tour organizer Cameron Padgett decided to drop the lawsuit against Ohio State, which refused last year to book Spencer. Padgett didn’t respond immediately to a request Wednesday for explanation of the decision.

Ohio State had said in its response to the lawsuit that a Spencer event would pose substantial risks to public safety and for disruption of the university.

Attorney James Kolenich, of suburban Cincinnati, became lead counsel in two Ohio cases when Michigan attorney Kyle Bristow recently withdrew after waging lawsuits against a series of U.S. schools for months. Bristow said he had been unfairly vilified in media reports.

Kolenich said a separate federal lawsuit will continue against the University of Cincinnati over the school’s demand for a nearly $11,000 security fee for Spencer to speak there. A planned March 14 appearance during UC’s spring break fell through because of the legal standoff.

Spencer spoke Monday amid protests at Michigan State University.

Spencer uses the term “alt-right” to describe advocacy of a white “ethno-state” and anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant beliefs. He was a scheduled speaker at the “Unite the Right” rally last August in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in deadly violence.


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