October 8, 2018
On Friday, we received a call from Chevy Swanson, the president of the College Republicans of the University of Washington in Seattle. Earlier this year, you recall, we settled a lawsuit in their favor when the University tried to charge the student group an outrageous sum of money to provide extra security at their event featuring Joey Gibson/Patriot Prayer.
Chevy said his group wanted to reserve a table at Shultzy’s Bar & Pub near campus to celebrate “Beers 4 Brett” following Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation . But Shultzy’s posted on its Facebook page that the College Republicans were not welcome and that they would be refused service.
Seattle has one of the broadest public accommodation ordinances in the country. It prohibits busness establishements from denying service on the basis of, among other things, a person’s “political ideology.”
We immediately responded to their post by letting them know we would sue them for violating the anti-discrimination law unless the College Republicans were welcomed, and I instructed Chevy to take his camera and go to the pub.
That’s all it took for the restaurant to see the light and back off of their threat to the College Republicans’ rights and now Shultzy’s is under the glare of the media.
Bob Unruh at WND tells the story well:
The managers of a Seattle bar who sought to ban a GOP organization from celebrating the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh – at one point telling members to go away – have backed down quickly after they were told their discrimination was illegal.The case developed quickly – and collapsed just as fast – thanks to social media.
It was a Facebook post from the College Republicans at the University of Washington, Saturday, shortly after Kavanaugh’s 50-48 confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate, that announced a “Beers 4 Brett” event hosted by the college Republicans Saturday night at “Shultzy’s Bar & Grill.”
“Shultzy’s,” quickly responded with “Shultzy’s is a sports-themed bar & grill that welcomes everyone. We do not promote or endorse any one religious or political viewpoint. As such, due to the political nature of your planned event, we request that you find another venue to celebrate.”
That was followed quickly by a message from Freedom X, which has represented the college Republicans in other rights fights.
“Bill Becker Freedom X clients UW College Republicans have been told that Shultzy’s B&G intends to discriminate against them on the basis of political ideology and deny them service in violation of Seattle Ordinance Chs. 14.06.020(T) and 14.06.030(B)(2-3) tonight 10/6/18. On advice of counsel, they will exercise their statutory right to patronize this establishment. If denied service Freedom X will sue to vindicate our clients’ right.”
According to Jason Rantz at KTTH Radio, the bar told the GOP to go elsewhere after “some Progressive activists contacted the bar to complain.”
Chevy Swanson, president of the college group, told Rantz, “I thought that the left wing activists who took notice of our event had lied to the restaurant about the nature of our event. It seemed incredibly odd to deny service for a quiet gathering of college Republicans and guests.”
Reported Rantz, “The bar’s discomfort with the event aside, there could have been a small problem if they were to enforce their request: Seattle prohibits discrimination on the basis of political ideology, one of the few cities in the country offering such protection. Indeed, it’s been controversial, as some Progressives argue it should be legal to discriminate against people who hold views counter to their own.”
Rantz described how Swanson talked with Bill Becker of Freedom X, and then called the bar to explain “they can’t deny service over political leanings.”
“We did and they hung up on us … ” Swanson explained.
Ultimately, Swanson and more than a dozen College Republicans went to the bar as planned.
“We asked for a table and they served us,” Swanson told Rantz, who reported, “For Swanson and the UWCR members, this is par for the course of being a conservative in Seattle, but they vow to push back against the ideological bigotry.”
The bar also came under criticism on social media, with Darlene Callahan noting, “Just to remind all conservatives, U.S. Patriots and grandparents, that if the Democrats take back the House, they plan to impeach President Trump … bring back the regulations President Trump removed … undo all that this administration has done including jobs & taxes … destroy all evidence of crimes committeed during the Obama regime so that none will exist to indict anyone” and more.
Becker pointed out on the comment thread that the “mere presence of supporters of a newly confirmed SCOTUS justice does not pose a safety threat.”
“The left is delusional and hysterical. You don’t have a right to discriminate because you can’t control your emotions,” he said.
U. of Washington Settles Campus Republicans’ Free-Speech Lawsuit for $127,000
The University of Washington will pay $127,000 in legal fees to lawyers for the university’s College Republicans to settle a free-speech lawsuit filed by the group, The Seattle Times reports.
The College Republicans chapter sued after the university tried to charge a $17,000 security fee for the group to hold a campus rally in February with the right-wing group Patriot Prayer. A federal district-court judge blocked the fee.
The rally took place as scheduled, protesters and counterprotesters clashed several times, and a number of people were arrested.
In the lawsuit, the student club argued that it was being discriminated against and that the university’s actions violated “fundamental principles of free speech, equal protection, and due process,” according to a letter to the university’s president from William J. Becker, president and general counsel of the law and advocacy firm Freedom X.
The University of Washington had argued that the fee was necessary so that it could hire security officers to guarantee public safety during the event. According to the settlement, the university said it would stop charging such fees unless a group specifically requests that security be present. The settlement states, however, that nothing in the agreement prevents the university from imposing a “constitutionally permissible security fee” for campus events.
“The University of Washington strongly supports a free and open exchange of opinions and ideas,” said Victoria Balta, a spokeswoman for the university, in a written statement. “We have a responsibility to our campus community to ensure that safety and security are maintained during any event held on campus, and we are pleased that the settlement preserves our ability to develop a long-term solution that balances free speech and campus safety without passing the burden of sometimes significant security costs on to all students.”
Last year a man was shot on the campus outside a speech by the right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, and the university’s president, Ana Mari Cauce, subsequently said that she cannot promise the safety of people on the campus.
We have been busy, but not with our pending lawsuit against UC Berkeley on behalf of four personal injury victims of the February 2017 Milo riots.
Nor have we been busy with our appeal of Gary Gileno’s criminal conviction for trying to exercise his Brown Act right to videotape a local public agency hearing. The judges in both of those legal matters seem to be taking their time in issuing rulings.
That doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy. On the contrary, much of what we do is behind the scenes preventing lawsuits as first listed above!
TROUBLE AT UC IRVINE
The ballroom accommodates a large audience and the College Republicans are expecting at least 800 people to fill seats at each event. In fact, they need at least that number of audience members to cover their costs.
These restrictions are never imposed on events hosted by leftwing student groups. There is just one explanation for them being imposed on the College Republicans: The University doesn’t want to expend the resources needed to secure the Pacific Ballroom from large groups of marauding violent masked protesters – the kind that threaten violence whenever conservative student groups host conservative speakers.
Recall in our lawsuit against UC Berkeley, antifa and other violent social justice saboteurs sent that university’s police force behind the glass doors of the MLK student center, assaulting innocent people and extensively damaging university property.
But the U.S. Supreme Court has firmly held that public institutions cannot impose restrictions on the use of public venues based on the amount of hostility likely to be created by the speech based on its content.
This will be an interesting matter to watch. The Pacific Ballroom is not a “traditional public forum” as plazas, parks and streets are. The University only needs a valid reason to impose restrictions on a “limited public forum.” Nevertheless, Freedom X believes that imposing restrictions that affect only conservative groups violates the equal protection clause of the 14thAmendment. Stay tuned.
LEFTIST TIMES AT RANCHO CAMPANA HIGH
Freedom X recently assisted a Young America’s Foundation chapter at the school receive official status as a registered student organization after the school refused to provide the group with a faculty advisor. Our efforts forced the school to assign an advisor and grant the group official status, which allowed it to put up a 9/11 memorial display.
We additionally succeeded in forcing the school to take down a poster featuring the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map targeting Christians, Christian groups and churches, lumping them in the same category as real hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
Now we have learned that another SPLC hate map is being allowed to remain posted in a classroom and another teacher is encouraging her classes to protest against conservative policies.
OPEN CARRY AT O-HI-O
The University ended up shutting down the plaza in anticipation of antifa and other leftwing violent protesters, so Liberty Hangout wasn’t able to set up their table. But they were able to conduct their rally throughout the other areas of the campus. We have advised Kent State officials that Liberty Hangout intends to apply for another event in the plaza and we intend to assist them when they do.
Freedom X has not charged our clients for any of the work we have been doing on their behalf because we provide a unique service that the average person can’t afford. When Freedom X gets involved, schools, universities and other institutions get a lesson in fairness.
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