The College Republicans of the UC Berkeley have amended their legal complaint against the Berkeley administration. The administration has made numerous attempts to stifle conservative free speech, which has led to the cancellation of conservative speakers such as Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, and almost led to the cancellation of Ben Shapiro’s speech. The Berkeley Republicans, in conjunction with the Dhillon Law Firm, have filed a complaint against UC Berkeley for systematic violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights perpetrated against the College Republicans and YAF organizations at Berkeley.
Maxine Chesney, a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, allowed Dhillon’s firm, which represents both plaintiffs (YAF and Berkeley Republicans), to file an amended complaint against the University of Berkeley because of the university’s recent attempts to change their policies regarding major events put on by student organizations.
Within the complaint, both the Berkeley College Republicans and Berkeley’s YAF chapter cite discriminatory time place and manner policies that restrict conservatives’ free speech rights on a non-content neutral basis. The complaint outlines the February 1, 2017 Milo Event, where destructive riots ensued with few arrests because UCPD and Berkeley police officers were given a stand down order.
In the aftermath of the Milo Event, on March 1, 2017, University administration officials surreptitiously adopted an unwritten policy regarding “high-profile speakers.” These restrictions included limiting the attendance of the events, limiting events to student attendees only, limiting the event to occur during daylight hours, disallowing BCR or YAF to advertise their event online or on campus, withholding information from attendees until hours before the start of an event, requiring the speaker to speak at a location away from the center of campus, and imposing excessive security fees.
These policies gave the Berkeley administration complete control over the time, space, and the manner of the meetings the Berkeley Republicans were able to have and the events they host. These restrictive policies make it very difficult for the University of Berkeley College Republicans and YAF to effectively plan and coordinate events with conservative speakers.
Clearly the goal of the administration is to quash any conservative speakers visiting campus because the administration doesn’t want students to hear ideas that contradict the indoctrination preached by leftist professors in the ‘safe space’ that is UC Berkeley.
Naweed Tahmas, External Vice-President of the Berkeley College Republicans released this statement on the new complaints made by the Berkeley Republicans against the administration, “The Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation will continue to hold the university accountable for their restrictive and unlawful policies towards conservative speakers” in response to the submission of the amended complaint.
He continued, “For too long students have been robbed of the opportunity to hear conservative viewpoints on campus due to a biased establishment that is hell-bent on silencing conservative voices on campus. This lawsuit brings us one step closer to freeing the campus from their authoritarian grip. If well-settled constitutional principles prevail in court in this case, the ideological gate surrounding the university will be forced open, and students wanting to invite liberals and conservatives alike who are shunned by both the academic and administrative class, such as Alan Dershowitz and Ann Coulter, will no longer have to run through a gauntlet of impossible-to-satisfy-barriers in order to host interesting speakers on campus. Conservatives students had to clear unlawful hurdles to host speakers such as David Horowitz, Ann Coulter, and Ben Shapiro.
Our principled legal challenge to the UC behemoth has already sent campus administrators into full retreat, as they have begun reviewing and re-describing their speaker policies, even if the substance of retaining unlawful content-based discretion over access to the University’s speaker venues. This war is far from over, but conservatives have joined battle and will not rest until UC Berkeley complies with the First Amendment, equal protection, and due process as required by the Supreme Court.”
The Berkeley Republicans have had their free speech rights constantly trampled on by the University of California, Berkeley administration and will thus fight for the restoration of their constitutional rights that have been restricted by the Berkeley administration. If the administration refuses to acquiesce to the demands of the Berkeley Republicans, then Congress should deny funding to the university until they give all students equal First Amendment protection.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.