The clash over conservative firebrand Ann Coulter's planned speaking event at the University of California, Berkeley, that was canceled by the school because of safety concerns took a new turn yesterday (April 24th), when students who invited Coulter to speak filed a civil rights lawsuit against the school, saying the cancellation violates their right to free speech.
The suit was filed on behalf of the Berkeley College Republicans, who invited Coulter, and the Young America's Foundation, which is helping to organize and finance the event that had been planned for this Thursday. After being blasted for canceling the speech, including by Coulter herself, the university offered an alternative date, but Coulter said she still plans to come on Thursday.
The university cited security concerns in canceling the event after several recent clashes on campus and in the city of Berkeley between far-right and far-left protesters. The president's office said in a statement that it welcomes speakers of all political viewpoints, and is, quote, "committed to providing a forum to enable Ann Coulter to speak on the Berkeley campus." It continued, "The campus seeks to ensure that all members of the Berkeley and larger community -- including Ms. Coulter herself -- remain safe during such an event."