The University of California at Berkeley may finally feel the repercussions of their conservative censorship with a new lawsuit being brought against the college.
The trouble began for the liberal-leaning college months ago after conservative pundit Milo Yiannopolous was scheduled to speak on campus. Leftist students who were afraid that Yiannopolous might say something to offend them forced the cancelation of his appearance by escalating their protest to a riot, instigating massive security concerns for the campus. Now, with Ann Coulter, another right wing media figure, scheduled to appear on Thursday, Berkeley was on high alert for more domestic terrorism by the left.
The college offered to change the date and venue for Coulter, but would do so in a way that kept the location secret until mere hours before the event began. Coulter refused, and then vowed to be present and ready to speak at UC Berkeley on Thursday, no matter what the official status of the event was.
Berkeley may have more trouble than just Ann Coulter throwing an informal rally, however, as student groups prepare a lawsuit against the school for what they believe is a discriminatory action against conservatives.
“Students at the University of California at Berkeley are preparing to sue the school after the cancellation of conservative pundit Ann Coulter‘s speech, which was originally scheduled for Thursday.
“On Wednesday, school officials informed the Berkeley College Republicans and the non-partisan Bridge USA, which coordinated the event, they decided to cancel the event because of security concerns. Instead, the afternoon of May 2 was offered as an ‘appropriate, protectable venue’ at the public university, but Coulter said she wasn’t available on that date.
“‘We are drafting a lawsuit and hope that Berkeley will do the right thing in the face of national pressure,’ Harmeet Dhillon told the East Bay Times on Saturday. ‘It’s pretty clear. There is a First Amendment right of student groups to have equal access to university facilities. The university can’t impose artificial discriminatory rules on differing viewpoints that it doesn’t impose on other viewpoints.'”
“On Friday, Dhillon wrote separate letters to UC Berkeley’s Interim Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton and chief attorney Christopher Patti. If the commentator is not allowed to give a speech Thursday, she warned, Dhillon said she would file a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of the student group. The students’ constitutional right to free speech are being violated, she said.”
Ironically, UC Berkeley had previously considered itself a bastion of free speech in the United States. With that reputation now tarnished beyond all comprehension, there are very few options left for how the school can proceed with this event. Whatever path they chose, they must understand that all eyes will be on Berkeley come Thursday, should a showdown between Coulter and the college erupt.