Score one for free speech — at least on one college campus.
The University of California, Berkeley settled a lawsuit with the Young Americas Foundation (YAF) and UC Berkeley College Republicans for $70,000, among other conditions.
According to the settlement agreement, UC Berkeley agreed to the following terms set by YAF:
1) Pay Young America’s Foundation $70,000.
2) Rescind the unconstitutional “high-profile speaker policy.”
3) Rescind the viewpoint-discriminatory security fee policy.
4) Abolish its heckler’s veto—protestors will no longer be able to shut down conservative expression.
For me, the most important part of this settlement is that protesters “will no longer be able to shut down conservative expression." By now, a good portion of us have seen the numerous YouTube videos of the screeching, not-able-to-listen-to-rational-thought, far-left, indoctrinated students on college campuses. While they most likely will still be able to protest outside right-of-center events, which is their constitutional right that conservatives would typically never deprive them of, the perennially triggered will no longer be able to shut down conservative speaking engagements.
As YAF spokesman Spencer Brown reported:
No longer can UC Berkeley place a 3:00 p.m. curfew on conservative speech. No longer can UC Berkeley ban advertisements for Young America’s Foundation-sponsored campus lectures. And no longer can UC Berkeley relegate conservative speakers to remote or inconvenient lecture halls on campus while giving leftist speakers access to preferred locations.
Further, the policy that allowed Berkeley administrators to charge conservative students $20,000 for security to host Ben Shapiro—an amount three times greater than the fee charged to leftist students to host liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor—is gone. YAF and UC Berkeley agreed to a fee schedule that treats all students equally. Unless students are handling money or serving alcohol at an event, the security fee will be zero.
Sorry, Antifa and other groups like you. You will no longer be able to intimidate students that simply want to hear a conservative speaker or students that might legitimately be interested in opening a dialogue by listening to opposing thought.
Red Alert Politics editor for the Washington Examiner Laura Cooley also noted that “UC Berkeley will no longer be allowed to place a 3 p.m. curfew on conservative events or relegate conservative speakers to remote or inconvenient lecture halls on campus while giving left-leaning speakers access to preferred parts of campus.
“Young America’s Foundation is thrilled that, after more than a year of UC Berkeley battling against the First Amendment rights of its own students, the University finally felt the heat and saw the light of their unconstitutional censorship,” YAF Spokesman Spencer Brown said. “YAF’s landmark victory for free expression—long squelched by Berkeley’s scheming administrators who weaponized flawed policies to target conservatives—shows that the battle for freedom undertaken by YAF on campuses nationwide is a necessary one.”
In your face, indoctrinators!