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Department of Justice files statement of interest in UC Berkeley First Amendment case

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in a lawsuit brought by the Berkeley College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation alleging that Berkeley’s High-Profile Speakers and Major Events policies violate their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

In its statement of interest, the DOJ argues that the “Plaintiffs’ allegations, if proven, demonstrate that the University’s High-Profile Speaker Policy and Major Events Policy are unconstitutional because they grant administrators unchecked discretion to restrict protected speech.” Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand said in a press release announcing the filing: “This Department of Justice will not stand by idly while public universities violate students’ constitutional rights.”

The DOJ has been active in campus speech litigation in recent months. Last fall, the DOJ filed a statement of interest in Shaw v. Burke, a lawsuit filed as part of FIRE’s Million Voices campaign.

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