Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz said Thursday if the University of California, Berkeley doesn’t change its guidelines for campus speakers, he will take them to court.
There is an eight-week delay for speakers the school deems “high profile,” but Dershowitz claimed on “Fox and Friends” they get around this rule by issuing a department invite to certain speakers.
“So we have the eight week barrier. Whereas anti-Israel speakers don’t have the eight-week barrier, and I’m going to sue Berkeley if they don’t allow me to speak. They may make me wait eight weeks and allow anti-Israel speakers to come within three or four days. That’s a lawsuit,” he said.
Dershowitz said because Berkeley is a public university, they must abide by the First Amendment and give equal opportunity for all speakers.
“Berkeley is a public university. Taxpayer’s money. They are bound by the First Amendment. So they can’t impose one rule on pro-Israel speakers and one rule on anti-Israel speakers,” he said. “The student are reacting because they’re telling me that they’re being denied the opportunity to listen to speakers that they want to hear.”
The Harvard Law professor said many of these protests have nothing to do with substance and are just a way to shut down speech. “It has nothing to do with the argument … it has nothing to do with what I’m saying. it’s just an attempt to shout me down.”
If the school were hosting a famous progressive actor, Dershowitz said they would never make them wait eight weeks. “They need to have a single standard and we’re going to hold them to it. And if they don’t abide by it, we are taking them to court.”
“I’m not going to let Berkeley get away with that. They’re a pubic university. They’re going to have to comply with the First Amendment. We are going to win this,” the professor concluded.
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