College Republicans, YAF Demand Ann Coulter Berkeley Event Follow Original Schedule

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

The UC Berkeley College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation have demanded in a legal letter to college administrators that Ann Coulter’s upcoming event follows its original schedule.

After begrudgingly allowing the event to move forward, the university, which has previously derailed events by conservative author David Horowitz and former Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos, attempted to change the date, time, and location of the speech so that a limited amount of students would be able to attend, prompting the Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation to take legal action.

It was previously reported that UC Berkeley had reversed their decision to cancel Coulter’s speech; however, the popular conservative author and commentator took to Twitter on Thursday to dispute these claims.

In the letter sent to UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor Sutton, the law firm claimed that the university was violating the First Amendment. “The University’s actions violate fundamental principles of free speech, equal protection, and due process guaranteed by the United States Constitution, and will not be tolerated,” wrote Harmeet K. Dhillon from Dhillon Law Group Inc., which is representing Young America’s Foundation (YAF) and the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR).

“Our clients meticulously followed University protocol in arranging for Ms. Coulter’s planned, on-campus speaking event,” she continued, noting YAF, BCR, and Coulter also “conceded to the University’s arbitrary, pretextual and discriminatory time-and place-restrictions which, on their face, violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

Dhillon stated Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell had told BCR that he “was securing a room on campus for the Coulter event” on April 18, but the next day Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Stephen C. Sutton “abruptly informed our clients that the Coulter event was cancelled due to the University’s alleged inability to ‘find a safe and suitable venue’ for the event on the scheduled April 27th date.”

Dhillon says Sutton initially suggested rescheduling Coulter’s speaking event in September and that Berkeley “would ‘need at least four weeks [sic] notice’ to re-schedule the event.” She criticized Berkeley for suddenly rescheduling Coulter’s appearance for May 2 following intense backlash to the news of her event being banned: “UC Berkeley’s newfound flexibility strains credulity, and its four-week arbitrary notice rule imposed on conservative invitees appears to be an utter sham.”

“The University’s transparently insincere offer to permit Ms. Coulter to speak during a two-hour window of time on May 2 when the students who invited here will not be in class and will instead by studying for finals, and when Ms. Coulter will no longer be in the area, is not a suitable alternative (indeed – it does not even pass the proverbial ‘smell test’ of credibility), and we hereby reject it,” she declared.

“It is ironic that UC Berkeley, known to many Americans as the birthplace of the free speech movement, is now leading the vanguard to silence conservative speech on campus,” she concluded. “We demand that UC Berkeley honor its obligation to respect the First Amendment rights of its students, without regard to their political preference or affiliation, by ensuring that Ms. Coulter be allowed to speak on campus on April 27… during late afternoon or evening hours, and in a central location.”

Coulter has repeatedly claimed that she plans to speak anyway, despite restrictions placed on the event by the university, though she has not yet elaborated as to what exactly this means.

The letter can be read in full below:

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correctly reflect Dhillon’s gender.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington or like his page at Facebook.