Federal Judge Allows Suit Against UC Berkeley for Discrimination Against Conservative Speakers to Proceed

Yesterday, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion to dismiss in the challenge to U.C. Berkeley's disparate treatment of conservative speakers:

U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney found the plaintiffs adequately alleged that UC Berkeley used an overly broad events policy to charge excessive fees and impose other unreasonable restrictions on conservative speakers. . . . 

Chesney rejected claims that university officials engaged in intentional “viewpoint discrimination,” finding the same security concerns were not an issue with more liberal speaking events compared to conservative speakers.

RNLA Vice President for Communications Harmeet Dhillon is counsel to the plaintiffs:

“We’re very pleased that our lawsuit against UC Berkeley officials in their individual and official capacities is moving forward,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Harmeet Dhillon. “We look forward to litigating these issues.” . . . 

Plaintiffs’ attorney Dhillon called the case “an example of student groups fighting back” against universities across the country suppressing conservative speech, especially schools in California. 

“It’s a core constitutional right being impeded by the government, so we will move forward and vindicate their core First Amendment speech rights in court,” Dhillon said.

Free speech on campus is an important current issue that will be discussed at our National Policy Conference tomorrow.