Young America’s Foundation v. Napolitano

From March 2017 to December 2018
University of California, Berkeley (Public college or university)
Berkeley, CA, United States

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
  • Incident Political Orientation:
  • Incident Responses:
  • Incident Status:
  • Did not involve Speech Codes


The Young America’s Foundation (YAF) is a Tennessee nonprofit corporation whose mission is to educate the public on conservative values. The Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) is a Registered Student Organization at the University of California, Berkeley. Allegedly as a result of the violence surrounding the Milo Yiannopoulos’s appearance at UC Berkeley in 2017, in March of that year UC Berkeley adopted an unwritten “High-Profile Speakers” policy that ostensibly restricted the time and place of all events involving “high-profile” speakers.

Also in March, 2017, BCR and YAL co-sponsored an invitation to David Horowitz to speak on campus. UC Berkeley administrators told BCR members that the event would have to take place one mile from campus, that it must start by 1 pm, and that BCR and YAF would have to pay a security fee of $5,788. As a result of these demands, BCR was forced to cancel the Horowitz event. In a similar manner, UC Berkeley cancelled Ann Coulter’s planned April 27 speech and then offered her the opportunity to speak May 2 during Dead Week, when no classes are held. Throughout this period, UC Berkeley continued to allow nationally renowned speakers to express non-conservative viewpoints at various times and places.

On April 24, 2017, YAL and BCR filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging § 1983 violations of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights and seeking injunctive relief, compensatory and punitive damages, and a jury trial. In December, 2018, UC Berkeley, YAL and BCR reached a settlement agreement under which UC Berkeley changed its campus events policy and agreed to pay BCR and YAL’s attorney fees.