Two conservative students groups – Young America’s Foundation and Berkeley College Republicans – who invited Ann Coulter to appear at UC Berkeley filed a lawsuit against school officials Monday, claiming the university discriminated against the firebrand conservative author by canceling the event.
In their lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco, the groups said UC Berkeley violated their constitutional rights by trying to “burden or ban” events involving the expression of conservative speech.
They asked the court to award damages to the organizers of the event and to fine UC Berkeley.
The Daily Caller reports:
The groups accuse Berkeley, once known as the “birthplace of the Free Speech Movement,” of restricting and stifling “the speech of conservative students whose voices fall beyond the campus political orthodoxy.”
They say the school, a well-known liberal enclave, cancelled the event “simply because that expression may anger or offend students, UC Berkeley administrators, and/or community members who do not share Plaintiffs’ viewpoints.”
The lawsuit asserts that Berkeley “could have taken appropriate security measures to ensure the safety of those attending conservative speaking engagements – as is their duty to all students on campus – but they have refused to do so.”
University officials including University of California President Janet Napolitano were named in the lawsuit.
Coulter had been originally scheduled to appear on April 27 but the school canceled it, citing security concerns.
In February, violence erupted on campus that forced right-wing personality Milo Yiannopoulos to cancel his speech.