As Ann Coulter continues to jump through the hoops set up by UC Berkeley to thwart her from airing her “problematic” views to its fragile student body, a group of conservative students at Berkeley are gearing up to take legal action against school administrators for what they perceive as a breach of their constitutional rights.
Berkeley administrators told the Berkeley College Republicans and organizer Bridge USA that Coulter’s invitation to speak on campus would be rescinded due to security concerns. They eventually flip-flopped and offered Coulter a chance to speak on May 2, a day on which classes will not be in session.
Now, the Berkeley College Republicans are fighting back.
“We are drafting a lawsuit and hope that Berkeley will do the right thing in the face of national pressure. 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,” Harmeet Dhillon told the East Bay Times.
Dhillon went on to note that she has mailed out letters to both UC Berkeley Interim Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton and chief attorney Christopher Patti warning them that she would file a lawsuit in federal court if Coulter is not allowed to speak. If school administrators cave in and let Coulter’s event go on as planned on April 27, the Berkeley College Republicans will drop the lawsuit.
As for the university’s amended invitation, Dhillon dismissed it by noting that it does not pass the “smell test” for two reasons: students will too busy studying for final exams to attend any speaking engagements and Coulter will not even be available to attend on that day.