SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — The University of California, Berkeley has agreed to consider changes to its policy on major campus events as part of a settlement in a lawsuit over student access to conservative speakers.
Young America’s Foundation and Berkeley College Republicans filed the lawsuit in 2017 after UC cancelled events featuring conservative speakers Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter and David Horowitz citing security concerns.
According to the settlement, the University has agreed to pay the plaintiffs $70,000 in attorneys fees and will revise its ‘Major Events Policy’ and its security fee schedule.
In a statement, UC Berkeley wrote, “The settlement does not require the University to concede that any of the plaintiffs’ claims of previous viewpoint discrimination have any basis in fact, for they did not.”
The lawsuit was filed last year after the university cancelled a scheduled appearances by Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter and called into question the constitutionality of university’s event policy.
The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Harmeet Dhillon told the New York Times the events and fee policies were “flatly unconstitutional” under the First Amendment.
“It is no longer able to tax speech on campus when it finds the speech to be disfavored or unpopular,” she said. “The university has taken a very important liberty-enhancing step to cover these fees.”
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