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Young conservative org WINS free speech case against UC-Berkeley

(National SentinelLandmark: The Young America’s Foundation has won a legal victory in support of free speech on campus against the University of California-Berkeley after a year’s worth of litigation in the usually conservative-hostile U.S. Ninth Circuit.

Lifezette reports that terms of the settlement including paying YAF $70,000, rescinding unconstitutional and events-related policies that marginalize conservative students, and abolishing the “heckler’s veto” — a process whereby protesters of conservative speakers were able to force the school to cancel those events.

“This is a landmark free speech victory for all students at UC Berkeley,” Harmeet K. Dhillon, the attorney for YAF, told the news site on Monday.

“A generation of college students will owe [YAF and UC Berkeley College Republicans] thanks for this victory,” she added, noting that she has been contacted by other attorneys across the country who say they plan to use the YAF settlement as a model for additional free speech-related cases against other Left-leaning colleges and universities.

“To our knowledge, this is the first events policy at a public higher educational institution in California where student groups and outside groups will be charged $0 security fees to hold most events,” said Dhillon. “No longer will heckler’s vetos be permitted to tax and silence unpopular speech on campus. We expect to see this model eventually adopted at many other campuses.”




According to terms of the settlement, UC-Berkeley officials will no longer be able to implement policies that hamstring or otherwise disadvantage student groups who seek to bring conservative speakers to the campus for events.

Brad Devlin, vice president of the Berkeley College Republicans, praised the settlement in a tweet.

“This is huge! After more than a year battling in court, @yaf and @BerkeleyCRs get major concessions from UC Berkeley. It will revise its unconstitutional policies and protect every student’s right to free speech! I’m so glad to be a part of this win!” he wrote.

Conservatives including Ben Shapiro and Ann Coulter have faced massive opposition to appearances on the Berkeley campus and had been subjected to what the YAF considered unfair and unconstitutional restrictions on their speech — a position with which, remarkably, the liberal 9th Circuit agreed.

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