Lawyers Blast UC Berkeley Over ‘Dead Week’ Rescheduling of Ann Coulter’s Speech
A law firm representing Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation is blasting University of California over their rescheduling of Ann Coulter’s appearance on campus to a “dead week,” when students are not in class and preparing for their final exams.
Originally, Coulter was scheduled to speak on April 27, which administrators had announced was cancelled on Wednesday, citing “security concerns.”
Following backlash, and Coulter refusing to back down, the administration decided that the speech can go on — but moved the date to May 2, when students will be in the midst of finals and less likely to be able to attend, THR reports.
Our letter sent to UC-Berkeley this morning, demanding they abide by the 1st amt. https://t.co/mrD6pfkyAo
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 21, 2017
Harmeet Dhillon of Dhillon Law Group does not believe that their offer of a new date passes “the proverbial ‘smell test’ of credibility,” however, and has fired off a strongly worded letter to Berkeley interim vice chancellor of student affairs Stephen Sutton. In it, the lawyer asserts that the “insincere offer to permit Ms. Coulter to speak during a two-hour window of time on May 2 when the students who invited her will not be in class and will instead by studying for finals, and when Ms. Coulter will no longer be in the area, is not a suitable alternative.”
The letter then flat out rejects the university’s rescheduling option.
“In each of the three recent conservative speech censorship instances, UC Berkeley impermissibly has allowed a “heckler’s veto” to suppress the free speech rights of speakers properly invited by recognized student groups, and in each case, did so after first attempting to bully the students out of pursuing their quest to hear these alternative voices by piling on requirement after unconstitutional requirement – ‘security fees,’ inconvenient hours, inconvenient locations, attendance restrictions, and more,” Dhillon stated.
Dhillon went on to point out the irony in the fact that UC Berkeley was the birthplace of the 1964 free speech movement — when students rallied to overturn a ban on political activities at the university — but is now “leading the vanguard to silence conservative speech on campus.”
Earlier this month, the university also cancelled a speaking event by conservative writer David Horowitz.
“It’s absolutely deliberate,” Horowitz told Newsmax in an interview. “What they’ve done is they’ve taken the security issue, which is a responsibility of their police department, and thrown it on to the College Republicans.”
Meanwhile, the university recently hosted former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who spent much of his speech bashing our president.
Last weekend saw another violent clash between far left militant groups and free speech activists in the city, as anarchists attacked the “Patriot’s Day” rally organized by supporters of President Donald Trump.
The rally was a follow up to the “March 4 Trump” last month, which also endured violent from anarchists, leaving multiple Trump supporters injured.
In February, a speaking event by controversial right wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos on the Berkeley campus was cancelled after violent rioters began throwing firebombs, assaulting attendees, and vandalizing the area.
The student groups are promising to sue the university in federal court for violating their constitutional rights.