A new lawsuit from the University of California, Berkeley is challenging the school’s use of a controversial method of using the court system to silence users.
The suit filed Monday argues that the university is using the law school’s “prejudice, discrimination, and fear of reprisal” to suppress speech on the internet.
Berkeley’s lawsuit cites an article published by the website Gawker that said it “lacked a First Amendment right to publish content it deemed inappropriate.”
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California on Monday, says that a “host of California university officials and professors have taken steps to chill free speech online and suppress the speech of their students and other scholars.”
It claims that the school and its professors have “made it difficult for individuals to speak freely online” and “harassed and intimidated them, and other students, in violation of the First Amendment rights of others.”
The school, in its suit, also cites its “troubled history of allowing students to be sued by administrators, faculty, and alumni in retaliation for criticizing the university.”
The university is also being sued by another student who was recently suspended for posting about the case on Reddit. “
The university has failed to provide students and professors with adequate training, or even basic legal advice, in the First and Fourteenth Amendments, or in any other legal form, or has failed, in light of the school website, and the public, to understand and rely upon the legal structure of the federal First Amendment.”
The university is also being sued by another student who was recently suspended for posting about the case on Reddit.
In the case, filed on behalf of a third student, the plaintiff alleges that the Berkeley College Republicans, a student organization, used a website called Reddit to post “subversive content that defamed” the school, and “to discourage students from participating in campus political activities.”
The Reddit user who was suspended has not responded to requests for comment.
The lawsuit is the second time in recent weeks that the University has been sued by students.
In September, students at the University at Albany were sued by an anonymous student who alleged the university had “a long history of tolerating racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic behavior on campus.”