Exclusive: Cal State sued over free speech

FBN's Adam Shapiro on conservative commentator Ben Shapiro filing suit against California State University over free speech.

CSULA Professors Being Sued for Violating Free Speech Rights

By Politics FOXBusiness

UPDATE: Rick Wall was originally to be named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but he has been dropped in the actual filing.

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California State University Los Angeles issued a statement today after the FOX Business Network reported several CSULA professors and administrators are being sued for violating the US Constitution.  

“We have not seen the lawsuit and have no comment.”

- CSULA Director of Communications Robert Lopez

CSULA Director of Communications and Public Affairs Robert Lopez said, “We have not seen the lawsuit and have no comment.”

FOX Business learned the suit will be filed Thursday in the United States District Court Central District of California. Sources tell FOX Business the CSULA Young Americans For Freedom, as well as conservative columnist and author Ben Shapiro are among the plaintiffs.

CSULA Young Americans For Freedom invited Shapiro to speak on campus back in February of this year. His lecture titled “When Diversity Becomes a Problem” was approved by the CSULA administration. But CSULA students and professors who opposed his lecture threatened protests and raised the possibility of violence if the lecture were allowed to take place. One CSULA professor even threatened to physically fight members of the CSULA Young Americans for Freedom club for inviting Shapiro to speak.

CSULA President William Covino canceled the lecture but then abruptly changed his position and allowed the lecture to take place after Shapiro threatened to sue. On the day of the lecture, protesters locked arms around the CSULA student center and blocked their fellow students from entering the student center to hear Shapiro’s lecture.

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Sources familiar with the lawsuit say senior CSULA administrators purposefully failed to enforce university free speech policies in order to placate the protestors and stop Shapiro’s speech.  Students who managed to attend Shapiro’s lecture were told by CSULA police officers not to leave the auditorium or their lives would be in danger.  

CSULA President Covino, Professor Melina Abdullah and Professor Robert Weide are among the defendants named in the suit, according to sources familiar with the lawsuit.

The Young America’s Foundation has scheduled a press conference for 5pm ET (2pm PT) in Los Angeles to discuss the lawsuit.  

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