The Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation have filed a lawsuit against members of the University of California system for their role in restricting an upcoming speaking event featuring Ann Coulter.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 24, 2017
The suit alleges that administrators unlawfully violated the student’s rights to free expression on campus by placing unusual restrictions on events that the Berkeley College Republicans organized. An event featuring renowned conservative commentator David Horowitz was canceled after the university forced students to hold the event at 3 PM when most students are in class, at a venue far from the center of campus.
According to the suit, Berkeley is accused of engaging in a discriminatory practice of applying unusual time and venue restrictions on events planned by the UCB College Republicans. These restrictions have led to the cancellation of two events in the month of April 2017.
Defendants engage in a pattern and practice of enforcing a recently adopted, unwritten and unpublished policy that vests in University officials the unfettered discretion to unreasonably restrict the time, place, and manner of any campus event involving “high-profile speakers” – a term that is wholly undefined, and that has enabled Defendants to apply this policy in a discriminatory fashion, resulting in the marginalization of the expression of conservative viewpoints on campus by any notable conservative speaker. Defendants freely admit that they have permitted the demands of a faceless, rabid, off-campus mob to dictate what speech is permitted at the center of campus during prime time, and which speech may be marginalized, burdened, and regulated out of its very existence by this unlawful heckler’s veto.
The suit condemns the University of California system for failing to provide an academic environment that promotes free debate and the free exchange of ideas, which students were promised at the time of their enrollment.
Though UC Berkeley promises its students an environment that promotes free debate and the free exchange of ideas, it had breached this promise through the repressive actions of University administrators and campus police, who have systematically and intentionally suppressed constitutionally-protected expression by Plaintiffs (and the many UC Berkeley students whose political viewpoints align with Plaintiffs), simply because that expression may anger or offend students, UC Berkeley administators, and/or community members who do not share Plaintiffs’ viewpoints.
Read the whole lawsuit below:
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org