University of Minnesota motions to dismiss Shapiro lawsuit

The University of Minnesota filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit from the Young America's Foundation, which the conservative organization filed in July after UMN moved a conservative event to a different venue.

UMN argues in the motion that the Constitution does not "guarantee a right to host an event in a particular venue," but previous court precedent suggests YAF's effort might prevail.

The University of Minnesota filed a motion in late August to dismiss a lawsuit by Young America’s Foundation and Ben Shapiro which accused UMN of “banishing [a] conservative event to [an] inadequate venue.”

YAF and Shapiro filed a lawsuit against the school in July after UMN allegedly capped the number of people who could attend the event, which is an action that YAF believes puts UMN in a position where they violated the First Amendment.

In a motion filed on August 22, UMN calls the Ben Shapiro lecture a “success,” as the university worked with Students for a Conservative Voice, the student group that invited Shapiro, and found a venue that “virtually matched” the capacity of the venue originally requested.

The university additionally made the argument that although the student group may have requested a room with a larger capacity, the university does not have an obligation to grant the request, also stating that the venue choice was based on security concerns raised by SCV.

“The Constitution does not guarantee a right to host an event in a particular venue,” said UMN in a court filing.

The university does state that they cannot engage in “viewpoint discrimination,” but contends that since SCV chose only “limited public forums,” the school has the right to “legally preserve the property under its control for the use to which it is dedicated,” states the motion.

Notably, when the University of California, Berkeley filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit by YAF, the judge tossed out the motion and allowed the lawsuit to move forward.

“Berkley did it and lost. Minnesota did it and we believe they’ll lose on that point as well,” YAF spokesperson Spencer Brown told The Minnesota Daily.

When contacted by Campus Reform for a statement, the University of Minnesota pointed to the court filing and did not comment further.