March 2019 Trial Date Set for Lawsuit Alleging Anti-Semitism Against San Francisco State University in California State Court
May 30, 2018
Nathan Miller or Hannah DeWit
Students allege violations under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act after University excluded Jewish group from "Know Your Rights" Fair
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—On Friday, May 25th, in California Superior Court, Judge Richard B. Ulmer, Jr. set a trial date of March 4, 2019 for a lawsuit brought by two Jewish students who allege that San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the Board of Trustees of California State University (CSU) discriminated against them. The claim derives from the intentional exclusion of the plaintiffs’ Jewish student group from a "Know Your Rights" Fair that was ostensibly held to provide information and resources to marginalized communities. The Lawfare Project and Winston & Strawn LLP are representing the plaintiffs (case number CGC-18-563970) in their state court claim under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.
"San Francisco State University is widely recognized as one of the country’s most anti-Semitic campuses, and the more information that comes out about what’s happening at SFSU, the more disturbing the picture becomes. We look forward to proceeding with a transparent and expeditious discovery process, and we are confident that we will be successful as we seek justice for our clients at trial next spring," said Seth Weisburst of Winston & Strawn LLP.
"It is profoundly ironic that one of the most victimized communities in America would be excluded from a university-sponsored event that would help equip them to protect and defend their rights. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly shocking, given that SFSU’s President Wong has suggested that the physical safety of Jews on campus is a ‘political issue’. Equally troubling, Rabab Abdulhadi—the faculty advisor for one of the groups on the Fair’s organizing committee—retaliated against a statement that recognized past comments on Zionism as 'deeply hurtful' to the SFSU Jewish community by comparing Zionists to white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis, homophobes, and misogynists," said Amanda Berman, The Lawfare Project’s Director of Legal Affairs.
In addition to this lawsuit filed in California Superior Court, The Lawfare Project and Winston & Strawn LLP are representing seven Jewish plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit against SFSU in Federal District Court for the Northern District of California. That suit, brought against SFSU administrators and faculty members as well as SFSU and CSU, alleges violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Judge William Orrick, III will hear arguments in that case in July.
About the Lawfare Project: Headquartered in New York, The Lawfare Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a legal think tank and litigation fund committed to protecting the civil and human rights of Jewish communities around the world. To learn more, please visit https://www.thelawfareproject.org.