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Harmeet K.


April 21, 2017


Christopher Patti, Esq.

Chief Campus Counsel and
Associate General Counsel
Office of Legal Affairs
University of California, Berkeley
200 California Hall, MC #1500
Berkeley, CA 94720-7122

Re: Berkeleys Continued Censorship of Conservative Student Viewpoints

Dear Mr. Patti:

I write in response to your letter of todays date concerning the University of California,
Berkeleys (UC Berkeley or the University) refusal to allow student groups Berkeley
College Republicans and BridgeCal to host their invited speaker, Ann Coulter, to speak on April
27, 2017 as planned.

First, I want to express how disappointed I am that counsel for UC Berkeley, of all institutions,
would misgender me by addressing your letter to Mr. Dhillon, an error repeated by your
colleague who sent me a similarly addressed email. Please be more sensitive (or at least accurate)
in the future.

Your disregard for accuracy in addressing your letter, unfortunately also permeates your
selective and self-serving recasting of the facts to suit your narrative of the events that led us to
the brink of litigation. To cite but one example (others will be recounted in detail in the lawsuit
and other pleadings where accuracy will be at a premium), you claim, as you have claimed to
the media, that Campus administration first learned of BCRs requested date through newspaper
reports. This repeated claim is, in a word, false.

In documented reality, BridgeCals Ross Irwin informed administrator Millicent Morris-Chaney

(Berkeley Student Organization Coordinator, LEAD Center) in a March 17, 2017 email that
there was a 50% chance that Ann Coulter would be coming to speak on campus the last week of
April, in order to give the administration as much advanced notice as possible. Mr. Irwin went on
to ask about security fees and other issues relating to particular venues, as any prudent person
would under the circumstances. Then, on March 28, 2017, the two student groups confirmed to
University administrators in writing that Ms. Coulter would be in fact be speaking on April 27,

177 POST STREET, SUITE 700 | SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108 | 415.433.1700 | 415.520.6593 (F)
Christopher M. Patti, Esq.
April 21, 2017
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2017; the students simultaneously sought a large venue and suggested two specific desired
venues for the event the Pauley Ballroom, or Hertz Hall, from 7-9 p.m.

UC Berkeley only began raising more and more issues about the event, and piling on new and
more arbitrary restrictions, as the date drew closer. Despite six weeks of notice that a famous
author would be coming to Berkeley to speak, and that the students sponsoring her wanted to
know about security arrangements and venues where they could accommodate ticketed guests,
and more than a full four weeks after learning of a confirmed date, desired time, and two desired
venues for the event, your administration played a shell game with the two student groups,
offering up venues for Ms. Coulters speech, including each of the following:

Booth Auditorium (stated to be available April 27)

Anderson Auditorium
Zellerbach Auditorium
Dwinelle 155 (was stated to be available the evening of April 27)
Valley of Life Sciences Building 2050
Boalt 175
Haas Faculty Wing F295
Memorial Stadium, Field Club (was stated to be available April 27)

After offering and discussing all of the above potential venues with the student groups for some
time, UC Berkeley administrators then suddenly announced a new barrier to the venue
confirmation by informing the students on April 13 now a mere two weeks before the event the
University had notice of for four weeks already that there was a new, unpublished University
policy, developed in a meeting on March 1, 2017, without student organization input. The
Berkeley College Republicans were informed on April 13 that at the March 1 meeting, UC
Berkeley administrative staff, UC Berkeley Police Department personnel, the City of Berkeleys
Mayors Office, and the Berkeley Police Department, decided amongst themselves that events
involving high-profile speakers would be conducted during daytime hours. Lee Harris, Patrol
Lieutenant of the UCPD Berkeley, learned of the meeting on March 29, 2017.

Why UC Berkeley chose to keep this ill-defined March 1 high-profile speakers rule secret for a
month, and why it was not mentioned to the student groups during the weeks of discussion about
the Ann Coulter event, until a mere two weeks before the event, is unknown, but perhaps it has
to do with the unconstitutional vagueness of this government policy, or its selective enforcement.
After all, most would agree that the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, is a high-profile
speaker, and yet the 3 p.m. curfew recently applied to Ms. Coulters event was not applied to
him; nor was it applied to Clinton White House official Maria Echaveste earlier this month.
Whatever the reason, after dangling numerous suitable venues before the two student groups, and
then narrowing that list after unveiling its hidden curfew policy, UC Berkeley then abruptly
yanked the venues from the table on this week by cancelling the event unilaterally. These facts,
all documented in writing, inconveniently contradict Berkeleys false public narrative about its
now nationally-infamous censorship problems.


177 POST STREET, SUITE 700 | SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108 | 415.433.1700 | 415.520.6593 (F)
Christopher M. Patti, Esq.
April 21, 2017
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Thank you for conceding in your letter today that UC Berkeley chooses to limit speech as a
direct result of the successful misconduct of some of the same groups that previously engaged
in local violent action. In other words, all one has to do to silence conservative speakers at UC
Berkeley, is to don a mask and become violent, or place anonymous phone calls to the
administration threatening such violence. Unfortunately for UC Berkeleys sui generis policies
for stifling conservative speech, the Constitution does not permit the hecklers veto to drown out
the voices of speakers in otherwise permitted places.

Your letter suggests that that the University wants to work with the [BCR] to find an alternative
date when the event could be held as safely as possible. This is Orwellian double-speak. Thanks
to the prior success of the non-student criminals at silencing conservative speech at UC
Berkeley, they appear to be here to stay, so it is disingenuous at best to suggest that there is some
date in the future and some place on the campus where conservative invitees may speak free of
protest, interference or arbitrary administration censorship in the guise of rules. Recognizing
that we now live in a place and time where people such as BCRs invited speakers will face local
protest, UC Berkeley is still obligated under the law to make its facilities available to student
groups in a content-neutral and even-handed manner, and no amount of double-secret rules for
certain speakers, relieves the University of this obligation.

Your letter fails to address any of the several substantive legal issues at hand, which you
dismissed with a single vague sentence that the Universitys actions have been wholly
consistent with its obligations under the Constitution . Yet imposing a curfew on some high-
profile speakers but not others, forcing conservative speakers to speak in obscure locations at
the edge of campus and only during the middle of the day, and yesterday suggesting that Ms.
Coulter speak at a place and time when there are no classes and students are therefore not likely
to be on campus, manifestly fails any objective test of fairness, rationality, or Constitutionality.
Because you refuse to recognize these truths, our clients are left with no choice but to seek relief
in court from UC Berkeleys illegal policy of selectively silencing student speech. It is a sad day
indeed when the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, is morphing before our eyes into the
cemetery of free speech on college campuses.

Should the University choose to reconsider its decision to bar Ms. Coulter from speaking in a
similar time, place, venue, and level of accessibility to students able to hear her speak, as it
affords speakers with favored voices, we will be pleased to suspend our lawsuit preparation and
work with you to finalize the venue and time of her speech on April 27 as planned, and for which
there are available venues. If we do not hear from you, we expect to file suit shortly and seek
interim relief soon thereafter.


Harmeet K. Dhillon

cc: Mark Trammell, Esq. (Young Americas Foundation)


177 POST STREET, SUITE 700 | SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108 | 415.433.1700 | 415.520.6593 (F)

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