- The Washington Times - Monday, April 24, 2017

“If Berkeley won’t protect its students rights, Young America’s Foundation will,” proclaims the conservative youth organization of the same name, which is mounting a lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley after the school essentially blocked an upcoming appearance by commentator Ann Coulter. Officials launched a series of scheduling maneuvers to dissuade the popular author from appearing on campus. The young conservatives of the “YAF” are prepared to strike back.

“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 suggesting Ms. Coulter speak at a place and time when there are no classes and students 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,” wrote the attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon in a letter to Christopher Patti, Berkeley’s chief counsel.

Ms. Dhillon represents the Berkeley College Republicans and filed a lawsuit against the campus in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Monday.

“When conservative students at Berkeley decided to host Ann Coulter through Young America’s Foundation’s campus lecture program, the school had plenty of notice. But instead of moving forward with event logistics for Coulter’s lecture, Berkeley’s administration chose to play a shell game with conservative students, only to ultimately cancel the event in the eleventh hour,” explains Spencer Brown, digital director for the organization.

“It’s unfathomable that the university has arbitrarily applied restrictions and treated conservatives as second-class members of their community with a selectively-applied curfew,” Mr. Brown continues. “We’ve encouraged Berkeley to communicate with Young America’s Foundation or its attorney to work out a time for Ms. Coulter to speak on Thursday, yet Berkeley has unfortunately exhibited an unwillingness to work with conservatives, protect the First Amendment on campus, or simply have an open dialogue. In its insistence to continue violating students’ rights, Berkeley has forced our hand. Berkeley, we’ll see you in court.”

The lawsuit “demands appropriate & safe venue for my speech THIS THURSDAY + damages,” Ms. Coulter tweeted Monday.

VEXED WITH THE GOP

“Approaching the vaunted one hundred day benchmark, it’s clear the Republicans, not the Democrats or their faithful media allies, are the biggest threat to Donald Trump’s presidency. Lost in various ego and ideology-driven agendas, the GOP legislators are doing their best to elect Elizabeth Warren president in 2020. Perhaps they should turn over their donor lists to the Massachusetts senator and make things easier and more direct,” writes Roger L. Simon, founder of PJ Media.

“This may or may not speak poorly for Trump’s managerial skills. And it doesn’t account entirely for his poor poll numbers. But if there is a cancer on his presidency, it is coming largely from his own party’s inability to enact legislation when they have undisputed control of Congress and the executive branch,” he continues. “It’s almost as if the Republicans have a death wish and don’t really want to govern — subconsciously preferring to be an opposition party that doesn’t have to take responsibility for their actions, only for criticism.”

MR. OBAMA EXPLAINS ALL

Let us remember that a startling 89 percent of the broadcast coverage about President Trump has been negative in content and tone since he was inaugurated, according to a new Media Research Center evaluation. Yes, well. Former President Barack Obama offers his own assessment about the press.

“Because of changes in the media, we now have a situation in which everybody is listening to people who already agree with them, reinforcing their own realities to the neglect of the common reality,” said Mr. Obama on Monday during his first public appearance since leaving office.

READY FOR THE RED PLANET

“Who’s ready to go to Mars up there?”

President Trump in a conversation on Monday with NASA astronauts Peggy Whitsun and Jack Fischer aboard the International Space Station.

IVANKA DIPLOMACY

First daughter, assistant to President Trump and gracious White House presence Ivanka Trump is off on a significant overseas trip. She arrives Tuesday in Berlin for the Women’s 20 Summit after receiving a direct invitation to attend from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Ms. Trump will serve on a panel titled “Inspiring Women: Scaling up Women’s Entrepreneurship,” staged at the ultra-modern Intercontinental Hotel. Ms. Merkel herself will also be part of the panel, along with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde and Bank of America vice chairman Anne Finucane.

MEGYN AND VLADIMIR

The eagle-eyed staff at the New York Post reveals that Megyn Kelly formally begins her reign at NBC News next month, set to debut in a new Sunday show in June. She was released from a long-standing contract with Fox News about two weeks ago.

“NBC News chairman Andy Lack flew to Russia earlier this month to meet with Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, sparking buzz that a Putin interview may launch Kelly’s show,” writes Page Six correspondent Carlos Greer.

Ms. Kelly will also headline a new morning show in autumn, appearing in what would have been the final hour of NBC’s storied “Today Show,” now trimmed down to two hours.

POLL DU JOUR

75 percent of Americans want increased spending on veterans benefits; 70 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

67 percent overall want more spending on education; 52 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

50 percent overall want more spending on healthcare; 71 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent want more spending on military defense; 71 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent overall want more spending on environmental protections; 23 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats agree.

45 percent overall want more spending on the “needy of the U.S.”; 26 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,501 U.S. adults conducted April 5-11 and released Monday.

• Chatter, patter and noise to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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