ADF: UCLA trying to stop Shapiro speech
Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Bruin Republicans at the University of California-Los Angeles, where speaker and author Ben Shapiro is scheduled to appear on Nov. 13.
The university has informed the GOP students their group will be charged a large security fee if the public – rather than UCLA students – shows up to hear Shapiro speak.
ADF fired off a letter Oct. 23 to UCLA for what it called “unconstitutional” fees imposed by the school.
“As the U.S. Supreme Court has made very clear, public universities can’t enact policies that effectively stifle free speech just because administrators fear protestors might show up,” says ADF attorney Tyson Langhofer. “The reason for that is simple: speech isn’t free if all it takes to silence it is for someone to object.”
Shapiro is known for attracting far-left protesters to his college speeches, who denounce his “hate speech” and often are supported by left-wing faculty. Yet he is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump and has denounced the “alt-right” movement, telling audiences that his Twitter account is filled with anti-Jewish vitriol from actual white supremacists.
Shapiro made headlines in September after the University of California-Berkely spent approximately $600,000 on security for his speech. He pointed out, however, the money was spent because of the potential for violence from left-wing rioters, not from a Jewish conservative speaker.
ADF points out that UCLA didn’t impose the same fee requirement on other events that attracted off-campus audiences and also notes the university handed over $300,000 to Hillary Clinton to speak at the school in 2014.