A federal judge rejected the University of California at Berkeley’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it discriminated against conservative speakers like Ann Coulter by imposing unreasonable restrictions and fees on their appearances.
In a decision late Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney in San Francisco said two conservative groups could pursue claims that the school applied its policy for handling “major events” and an earlier policy for “high-profile speakers” in a manner that unfairly suppressed conservative speech.
The Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation, a Tennessee group, had sued after the university canceled Coulter’s scheduled speech last April 27, citing security concerns.
Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, also welcomed the decision.
“It is good news that the case is going forward,” Dhillon said in a telephone interview on Thursday. “The First Amendment is a core constitutional principle, and every government policy that restricts, censors or bars otherwise legal speech is unconstitutional.”
The case is Young America’s Foundation et al v Napolitano et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 17-02255.