RESTON, VA—The University of California, Berkeley filed a bizarre response in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, to Young America’s Foundation’s lawsuit to restore students’ free speech rights. In it, UC-Berkeley promises a future free speech policy that will be solidified after an open comment period, and erroneously claims that their clearly viewpoint-discriminatory actions were not a violation of the Constitution.

Inexplicably, UC-Berkeley’s free speech policy will allow input from such groups as Antifa, the same masked thugs responsible for physically assaulting conservatives and terrorizing campuses with violent attacks, vandalism, and looting. Berkeley irrationally claims this yet-to-be-seen policy makes the Foundation’s lawsuit moot.

The very idea that a free speech policy is open to discussion or negotiation is absurd. UC-Berkeley administrators should base any policies protecting students’ constitutional rights on the Constitution itself.

Berkeley’s response laughably alleges that its actions—welcoming prominent liberals, including Maria Echaveste, a top aide to President Bill Clinton and Vicente Fox Quesada the former president of Mexico, while simultaneously denying equal access for students attempting to host David Horowitz and Ann Coulter—are “viewpoint neutral.”

“This weak attempt by the University of California, Berkeley to brush off their egregious free speech violations is staggering but unfortunately unsurprising given their demonstrated pattern of suppressing the First Amendment rights of conservatives on campus,” said Young America’s Foundation spokesman Spencer Brown. “As Young America’s Foundation has done throughout the last half-century, YAF will continue to stand up for students’ rights when their own schools engage in flagrant obstruction of free expression.”

Following a warning to Berkeley administrators earlier this year, Young America’s Foundation filed a lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley in federal court on April 24, 2017 over the University’s unconstitutional suppression of free speech on campus.


For further information or to cover this story contact Spencer Brown by phone (800-872-1776) or email (sbrown@yaf.org).

View Comments