SCOTUS denies request to allow drag show on West Texas A&M University campus brought by

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The Supreme Court on Friday denied a university student group’s emergency petition to allow a charity drag show to take place on the West Texas A&M University campus in Canyon later this month. 

“The application for writ of injunction pending appeal presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied,” the court said in its ruling. 

The group, Spectrum WT, which describes itself as LGBTQIA+ students and allies who meet weekly and host various events in the community, filed a lawsuit last year, alleging the school was violating its free speech

The school told Fox News Digital it had no comment on the pending litigation. Fox News Digital has reached out to Spectrum WT.

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The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday denied a Texas school group’s emergency petition to allow a charity drag show to take place on the West Texas A&M University campus later this month.  (Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, a nonprofit free speech advocacy group that is representing the students, told Fox News Digital, “While FIRE is disappointed by today’s denial of an emergency injunction, we’ll keep fighting for our clients’ First Amendment rights. The Fifth Circuit will hear oral arguments in the case next month. The show is not over.”

The students eventually held last year’s show off-campus, but have continued the litigation to keep the school from barring future shows. 

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Last year, the school’s president, Walter Wendler, wrote in an open letter published on the school’s website and titled “A Harmless drag Show? No Such thing” that he deemed the event, which was planned to raise money for the Trevor Project, he didn’t believe that drag shows “preserve a single thread of human dignity.”

A drag queen performing in Texas

West Texas A&M’s president called drag shows “misogynistic.”  (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Wendler wrote that although the Trevor Project’s efforts toward suicide prevention are “noble,” drag shows are “misogynistic” and present “women in cartoon-like extremes for the amusement of others.”

He added, “Drag shows are derisive, divisive and demoralizing misogyny, no matter the stated intent,” likening it to blackface. 

In its lawsuit, Spectrum WT said: “The First Amendment protects expressive conduct, including performance theater (like drag shows), whether held in high regard by supporters or low esteem by detractors.”

West Texas A&M University campus

Campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. (Google Maps)

But last September, a U.S. district court judge denied the group’s request for a preliminary injunction, ruling, “It is not clearly established that all drag shows are inherently expressive.”

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The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled arguments on the case for late April.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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