Young America's Foundation Scores Victory Against Berkeley

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 9:22 AM

Young America's Foundation scored a legal victory against UC-Berkeley this week after a judge in San Francisco refused to dismiss the organization's lawsuit against the university for infringing on the First Amendment rights of conservative students and speakers on campus.

“Young America’s Foundation looks forward to moving on to the merits of this case and vigorously defending our claims at trial. This ruling allowing YAF’s critical First Amendment case to move forward is a win for conservatives and free speech, and it shows that Judge Chesney believes there is significant evidence of Berkeley’s work to suppress conservative speech," Young America’s Foundation spokesman Spencer Brown released in a statement. “Conservative students will finally have their day in court, and we are confident that the outcome of this case will be the restoration of students’ First Amendment rights at the University of California, Berkeley.”

The lawsuit against Berkeley is backed by the Department of Justice, which issued a statement of interest for the case in January. 

“This Department of Justice will not stand by idly while public universities violate students’ constitutional rights,” former Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand said about the statement of interest at the time.

YAF filed the lawsuit late last year after the university repeatedly forced conservative students to pay extreme security fees to host speakers or face cancellation of their events. The university has special requirements and hurdles for conservative speakers that are not required for those who espouse leftist ideology.

"UC Berkeley has used its infamous unwritten and unpublished High Profile Speaker Policy to repeatedly suppress conservative speech on campus. In Wednesday’s ruling, the court found sufficient factual allegations for YAF’s First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment claims to move forward to trial," YAF released in a statement. "At trial, Berkeley will also have to answer for its unconstitutional application of the Major Events policy surrounding Young America’s Foundation’s breakthrough lecture with Ben Shapiro that took place last September. The court found YAF’s arguments persuasive, regarding Berkeley’s use of security fees to suppress conservative speech."