Conservative group sues Berkeley for denying club status

Anthony Gockowski
Contributing Editor/Investigative Reporter

  • The Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter at the University of California, Berkeley has sued the school over its failure to grant the organization official club status.
  • The university maintains that YAL is "too similar" to the Cal Libertarians group, but the lawsuit notes that UC-Berkeley already has numerous liberal groups with overlapping missions.
  • Another conservative group, Young America's Foundation, filed a similar lawsuit against the school in April after it effectively cancelled an Ann Coulter event on campus.
  • The Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter at the University of California, Berkeley has sued the school over its failure to grant the organization official club status.

    While the administration insists that YAL is “too similar” to another organization on campus, the Cal Libertarians, the lawsuit contends that the school deliberately discriminated against the club for its political views, according to a press release on the matter.

    "All students, regardless of ideology, should be guaranteed their First Amendment right to free speech."   

    [RELATED: YAL group rejected, told to find ‘other ways’ to be libertarian]

    Alliance Defending Freedom, a non-profit legal organization representing the club, points out in the lawsuit that the university has approved several ideologically-similar organizations on the left, such as the “Cal Berkeley Democrats” and “Students for Hillary at Berkeley,” as well as the “Queer Alliance and Resource Center” and the “Queer Student Union.”

    As a result of being denied the status of Registered Student Organization, YAL will not be able to avail itself of the benefits such clubs receive, such as school funding, hosting speakers, and reserving space on campus.

    “Public universities are supposed to be a ‘marketplace of ideas’ for students, but that can’t happen when administrators are allowed to pick and choose which student organizations will be recognized based on the students’ views,” ADF Legal Counsel Caleb Dalton commented, saying the university “has allowed for unconstitutional discrimination.”

    In fact, this is at least the second lawsuit the school is facing for discriminating against conservative students as Berkeley’s Young America’s Foundation sued the school in April after it effectively cancelled a scheduled Ann Coulter event.

    [RELATED: YAL activists arrested for distributing Constitutions on campus]

    YAL President Cliff Maloney pointed out that while “other Berkeley groups are lighting the campus on fire and throwing rocks through windows,” YAL’s “efforts to peaceably promote the message of liberty are being shunned by university administrators.

    “This incident is exactly why Young Americans for Liberty launched the national ‘Fight for Free Speech’ campaign,” Maloney added. “All students, regardless of ideology, should be guaranteed their First Amendment right to free speech.”

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    Anthony Gockowski

    Anthony Gockowski

    Contributing Editor/Investigative Reporter

    Anthony Gockowski is the Contributing Editor and an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. He previously worked for The Daily Caller, Intercollegiate Review, The Catholic Spirit, and The College Fix.

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