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Baptist Press: The Southern Baptist Convention’s religious freedom entity has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review lower rulings on the Obama administration’s abortion/contraception mandate for the purpose of striking down the controversial rule.
Freedom from Religion Foundation: The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s closely watched federal challenge over illegal partisan politicking by churches just got a green light from U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman of the Western District of Wisconsin. Adelman’s decision will allow FFRF’s historic challenge to continue to discovery, so that the public may learn the facts regarding IRS inaction over church politickin . . . FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor blasted the recommendations by last week’s evangelical report, closely aligned to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, which is “committed to helping Christ-centered organizations.” Participating members include those connected to the usual theocratic groups, including the Liberty Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian Legal Society, Campus Crusade for Christ and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, with a few token non-Christian groups thrown in . . .
WorldNetDaily: Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said every American, including family business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith. “We commend the court’s ruling which is a victory for religious freedom and freedom of conscience,” he said. “The Obama administration claims ‘unwavering’ support for religious freedom, but the only thing unwavering is the administration’s tenacious opposition to that freedom.” ADF also is representing a number of cases challenging the federal plan to fund abortifacients for all. ADF is working on cases brought by . . . [suits named]
Baptist Press (7/3): In addition to Moore and Lori, others signing the July 2 letter included Leith Anderson, president, National Association of Evangelicals; Samuel Rodriguez, president, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Matthew Harrison, president, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; Alan Sears, president, Alliance Defending Freedom; Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council; David Nammo, executive director, Christian Legal Society; and Richard Land, president, Southern Evangelical Seminary, and the ERLC’s president emeritus.
Amicus Brief on Behalf of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the Christian Legal Society in AID v. AOSI | Eugene Volokh
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: I’m pleased to report that my Mayer Brown LLP colleagues Andrew Frey and Michael Rayfield and I have just filed a friend of the court briefon behalf of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the Christian Legal Society in Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, which will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court later this month.
Andy Norman at Bell Towers: Most scholars, jurists, and those who love God recognize that preserving our religious freedoms in the United States today is inseparably linked with promoting religious diversity. When the new, the small, the controversial, and the unpopular are able to express their beliefs freely, we all benefit. That freedom, however, comes under attack every Christmastime. . . . In support of an accurate reading of the Establishment Clause numerous groups have joined the battle in recent years. These include the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian Legal Society, TMLC, Liberty Council and many others. Thanks to these organizations and the private law firms and attorneys willing to take these cases, the tide may be turning.
Deseret News: When the U.S. Supreme Court banned state-sponsored prayer in public schools 50 years ago, it didn’t put to rest the issue of religion in schools. Instead, it ignited a culture war that continues today over the role of religion in public education.
Education and Religious Groups Release Guidelines Regarding Bullying and Freedom of Expression in Public School
Christian Legal Society: Today Christian Legal Society joins a diverse group of religious and education groups, as well as two highly respected academic centers, to release a new publication Harassment, Bullying and Free Expression: Guidelines for Free and Safe Public Schools. After months of deliberation, seventeen organizations reached a commendable consensus for protecting freedom of expression while also punishing bullying and harassment . . .
Washington Post: Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, sees the Martinez decision “lurking in the background” of other cases. He filed suit in February on behalf of the Christian anti-abortion group Make Up Your Own Mind at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. The school, which does not have an all-comers policy like Hastings, was not going to formally recognize the group because officials deemed it nonreligious. “We don’t want the government determining whether a group is or is not religious,” he said. The school has since officially recognized Make Up Your Own Mind; Tedesco said the ADF is working on a settlement.
USA Today: The divided response has prompted at least one public tongue-lashing. Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain, the adviser of the Vanderbilt Christian Legal Society, alleged on Twitter and in a Christian magazine that the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and the Reformed University Fellowship betrayed their faith by complying with the university
In order to retain recognition, the group was told it must eliminate the requirement that leaders have a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ.” The university dictated that the following sentence be substituted instead:
One News Now: Eleven Christian organizations at Vanderbilt University have united to issue a statement of opposition to the new university policy that undermines religious freedom.
Vanderbilt Solidarity Issues Statement in Opposition to University Policy Undermining Religious Freedom
This year, Vanderbilt University has for the first time in its history demanded that our religious student organizations leave campus simply because we insist that our leaders agree with and strive to live by the religious beliefs we espouse. Today, we—the members of eleven such groups, standing together in an act of Solidarity—have submitted applications for registered status with constitutions containing the same faith requirements that Vanderbilt has always approved, until last year.
Michael Brown at Townhall: The university had been sued by the Alliance Defense Fund when, “The school refused to recognize the campus Christian Legal Society chapter, Hastings Christian Fellowship (HCF), because it [would] not agree to a non-discrimination policy that would require the group to admit homosexuals and non-Christians as members and officers . . . Last month, the Supreme Court turned down an appeal brought by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Christian groups challenging the policy at California state universities which did not allow them to restrict “membership in their groups to people who agree with their Christian values and beliefs.” Unfortunately, as noted by ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco, “one of the key points in the whole case is that every other group on campus is allowed to restrict their membership and their officers to people who agree with the values the group was formed to advocate on campus.”
The Times and Democrat: Dozens of colleges have scrutinized how on-campus Christian groups operate after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed a law school to deny funding to a Christian group that would not admit gays. The 2010 ruling touched on gay and religious rights on campus, and the tension is now at the center of a handful of disputes at colleges.
Christian Post: Lynn said he believes the “all-comers” policy is a great idea. “If you have a Christian club, the truth is you will be able to have and you will be required to permit [students] of any religious background or no religious background to come to your club, even run for the presidency of your club,” he told the NRB audience . . . Lynn argued that Christian groups must “get over” themselves and open up their leadership positions to all people regardless of their beliefs.
George F. Will at The Washington Post: Illustrating an intellectual confusion common on campuses, Vanderbilt University says: To ensure “diversity of thought and opinion” we require certain student groups, including five religious ones, to conform to the university’s policy that forbids the groups from protecting their characteristics that contribute to diversity. Last year, after a Christian fraternity allegedly expelled a gay undergraduate because of his sexual practices, Vanderbilt redoubled its efforts . . .
The Tennessean | tennessean.com: Two dozen members of the United States Congress fired off a letter to Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos this month, decrying a university policy that requires student religious groups to adhere to Vanderbilt’s policies on diversity and tolerance.
Fox News (includes video): Specifically, Swain is referring to four Christian student groups being placed on “provisional status” after a university review found them to be in non-compliance with the school’s nondiscrimination policy.
OneNewsNow.com: Casey Mattox, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defense Fund, says the student chapter of the Christian Legal Society was being discriminated against, as it was not included in the distribution of student activity fees. (See earlier story) “Every UM student and student group deserves to have their student fees distributed in a manner that complies with the First Amendment and doesn’t favor certain views over others,” contends Mattox.
he University of Montana School of Law has agreed to several reforms to their system of allocating funding to student groups, prompting Christian Legal Society and Alliance Defense Fund attorneys representing the CLS student chapter to withdraw a federal lawsuit.
U.S. Appeals Court: Schools Can Ban Worship | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction: Like Good News Club v. Milford Central School, which also originated from the Second Circuit Court, the Bronx Household case may end up in the Supreme Court, said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. The Bronx Household of Faith plans to appeal the Second Circuit ruling and submit it for reassessment by the full circuit court or the Supreme Court, he said . . . The Supreme Court has reprimanded the Second Circuit Court for ignoring precedent in the past, [Kim] Colby said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision was instantly reversed just based on previous decisions.”
Center for Arizona Policy: Center for Arizona Policy filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the program, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Christian Legal Society, and several religious liberty organization and scholars
ADF attorney Greg Baylor writing at Speak Up Movement / University: “Sam Ericsson passed away last Friday after an 11-year battle with cancer. Sam had served as Director of Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law & Religious Freedom from 1980 to 1985 and as CLS’s Executive Director from 1985 to 1991 before founding Advocates International, a global network of attorneys dedicated to religious liberty and the rule of law.”
Sam Ericsson went to be with the Lord this morning after battling cancer for eleven years. Sam served as CLS’s Executive Director from 1985-1991 and Director of the Center for Law and Religious Freedom from 1980-1985. In 1991, he founded Advocates International, a network of international religious liberty attorneys spanning the globe.
The New American: “Defend Life filed suit against Harford County, the superintendent of the Maryland State Police, the state troopers, Bel Air police officers, and the town of Bel Air. The plaintiffs are being represented by the Thomas More Society, a pro-life public-interest law firm based in Chicago, which is working with other lawyers in the case, including the Alliance Defense Fund, Chris Ferrara of the American Catholic Lawyers Association, and Matt Paavola, former president of Maryland’s Christian Legal Society.”
LifeSiteNews: “Maryland police and state troopers have lost their appeal to get immunity from a lawsuit filed against them by pro-life protesters they arrested and strip-searched in Bel Air, Maryland, according to a federal appeals court . . . Other attorneys involved with the case include the Alliance Defense Fund, Chris Ferrara of American Catholic Lawyers Association, and Matt Paavola, of Baltimore, former president of Maryland’s Christian Legal Society.”
OneNewsNow: “The Christian Legal Society (CLS) is facing another setback in its religious liberty case against the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law, which refused to recognize a chapter of the society because of its Christian beliefs.”
“The 9th Circuit on Wednesday refused to consider a Christian student group’s claim that a public law school selectively enforces its nondiscrimination policy, saying the group ‘simply failed to raise this issue the first time around.’”
Law Office of Patricia Kane Williams, LLC: “This summer a divided Ninth Circuit held that World Vision, a noted humanitarian organization, could terminate employees on account of their religious beliefs. Although approved for publication, the case offers little guidance because each member of the three-judge panel provided a different analysis for his or her conclusion . . . As is to be expected for a case raising such hot issues, numerous organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Justice, the Christian Legal Society, Alliance Defense Fund, Association for Christian Schools International, etc., appeared as amici curiae.”
You are invited to join hundreds of attorneys, law students, other law professionals and their families at CLS’s 2010 National Conference. The conference planning team has lifted the bar significantly this year, giving special attention to both spiritual formation and professional development.
With extraordinary support from Campus Crusade for Christ’s (CCC) legal ministries group and other generous sponsors, CLS has held down costs for attendees despite enhanced programming. Of particular note: carefully planned children’s activities led by experienced CCC staff will make this a great time for the entire family. We encourage you both to attend and to sponsor a law student for a truly outstanding time of fellowship, fun, and professional growth. We hope to see you there!
ADF Attorney Gregory S. Baylor writing at Speak Up Movement / University: Today I participated in a panel discussion at Duke Law School regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. The event was sponsored by the Federalist Society. Other participants included Professors John Inazu and Guy-Uriel Charles. About 100 students attended.
C-SPAN: “Panelists talked about the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. In that case the court ruled that a public university has the right to withdraw formal recognition of groups that do not adhere to anti-discrimination policies. Participants: [Gregory S. Baylor], Alliance Defense Fund; Kimberlee Wood Colby, Christian Legal Society; Frank Guliuzza, Patrick Henry College; Holly Hollman, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty; Richard B. Katskee, Assistant Legal Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State.” (The full video has not yet aired on C-Span as of this posting)
ADF Attorney Gregory S. Baylor writing at Speak Up Movement / University: “Yes, believe it or not, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a favorable religious freedom decision. On Monday, the court held that World Vision is in fact a religious organization and thus allowed to fire three employees who had repudiated the Christian beliefs they once held.”
Christian Legal Society: “The conference planning team has lifted the bar significantly this year, giving special attention to both spiritual formation and professional development. With extraordinary support from Campus Crusade for Christ’s (CCC) legal ministries group, CLS has held down costs for attendees despite enhanced programming. Of particular note: carefully planned children’s activities led by experienced CCC staff will make this a great time for the entire family.”
Penna Dexter writes at the Christian Post: “In what kind of a world does a Christian group not have the right to restrict its membership to practicing Christians? According to the United States Supreme Court: in today’s world . . . ADF’s Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence says, the schools that have such a policy often apply it inconsistently. He told reporters, ‘Groups that have nothing to do with religion—environmentalist groups, homosexual groups, feminist groups, etc–they are allowed to kick out members who disagree with their message.’ ADF Counsel Greg Baylor says this decision does place other student groups at risk and there will be more litigation on these non-discrimination policies. It is likely this ruling is not the last word on this subject. ADF’s Lorence says, ‘This isn’t even a loss…in that we’ve lost the issue. It’s that the Supreme Court has basically kicked it down the road for another day.’ But once again ‘non-discrimination’ against homosexual behavior trumps religious freedom. ADF Attorney David French worries that the Supreme Court’s reasoning in this case could mean that the liberties of churchgoing Americans are in danger. ”
Law Professor Robert K. Vischer has this post at Public Discourse: “If one has any doubt about the impoverished state of our public discourse regarding key social concepts such as “diversity” and “discrimination,” look no further than last week’s decision by the Supreme Court in Christian Legal Society (“CLS”) v. Martinez.”
PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly [video at link]: “[GREG BAYLOR] (Attorney, Christian Legal Society): What we’re talking about here is the ability of a group to preserve its message, and it doesn’t make sense for a public university to say to a private student group you have to give up your Christian faith in order to get the same privileges that other groups have.”
Christianity Today (see page 2): “[Gregory Baylor] of the Alliance Defense Fund said the constitutional issues at stake are still up for debate. ‘The conflict still exists,’ said Baylor. ‘The Hastings policy actually requires CLS to allow atheists to lead its Bible studies and the College Democrats to accept the election of Republican officers in order for the groups to be recognized on campus. We agree with Justice [Samuel] Alito in his dissent that the Court should have rejected this as absurd.’”
ADF Attorney Gregory S. Baylor writing in The Washington Times: “Groups with unpopular messages are most at risk under Hastings’ policy. Majorities can undermine or even take over small organizations with unpopular messages. Lacking the power to deny leadership positions to individuals who reject their countercultural messages, unpopular groups are perpetually at the mercy of those espousing the dominant viewpoints. Groups with uncontroversial messages usually don’t need the First Amendment, but small and unpopular groups – like theologically conservative Christians at a liberal law school in the city of San Francisco – very much do. Sadly, the court did not provide that First Amendment protection. It held that Hastings could punish CLS for dissenting from campus orthodoxy.”
The New American: “[Gregory S. Baylor] of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a legal organization that helped to defend the CLS before the Supreme Court, said that the latest ruling does not settle what he called the ‘core constitutional issue’ of whether non-discrimination policies can compel religious student groups to allow members with divergent beliefs to lead their groups. … ADF’s senior counsel [Jordan Lorence] predicted that there would be plenty more legal action over the issue. ‘It’s not over with and there’s a lot more litigation,’ he said. ‘This isn’t even a loss … in the sense that we’ve lost this issue. It’s that the Supreme Court has basically kicked it down the road for another day.’”
“The Supreme Court rightly holds that public law schools can deny affiliation and funding to religious groups that discriminate against gay students”
Marci A. Hamilton writing at FindLaw: “As the Court rightly recognized, this was not a case about compelled speech or belief, but rather a case about a regulation of conduct that is reasonable, legitimate, and related to the goal of the all-comers policy. Justice John Paul Stevens put it nicely in his concurrence: ‘A free society must tolerate such groups [i.e., those that believe in discriminating against others]. It need not subsidize them, give them its official imprimatur, or grant them equal access to law school facilities.’”
SCOTUSblog: “The Court was cautious in more than one case on Monday. As I explained here, in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Court surprised many in holding that public universities can deny recognition and funding to student groups with exclusionary membership requirements. In a poll of SCOTUSblog readers, this case didn’t hold much interest, but I join Tom in believing that it’s actually really compelling and far-reaching. … As I noted when the case was argued, the issue was a tough call, presenting good arguments on both sides. It looks like the Court saw it the same way, deciding five to four in favor of the law school, but cautioning that university policies about recognizing student groups must be neutral and aimed at organizations in general, not targeted at any particular group or type of group.”
ADF Attorney Jordan Lorence writing at The Washington Examiner: “UC-Hastings claims that for the last 20 years it has required CLS and all student organizations to accept any student who desires to join under an ‘all comers’ policy. But this is a mirage. Hastings has never truly enforced its ‘all comers’ policy because it concocted the policy in mid-litigation to evade the withering truth that Hastings only required CLS to accept students who disagreed with its mission. The university could not produce any record of its ‘all comers’ policy until it announced it in March 2005 in court documents related to this case.”
LifeSiteNews: “Several conservative groups say they consider the decision a major threat. These include the Family Research Council (FRC), which called the outcome ‘a massive defeat for religious freedom.’ … Yet other organizations appeared to disagree that the case would do much damage: the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which helped defend the Christian group, said that the decision effectively upheld ‘an unusual university policy that forces student groups to allow outsiders who disagree with their beliefs to become leaders and voting members.’ … ADF Senior Legal Counsel [Gregory S. Baylor] added that the decision ‘doesn’t settle the core constitutional issue of whether nondiscrimination policies in general can force religious student groups to allow non-believers to lead their groups.’” | ADF News Release
ADF Attorney Travis Barham writing at Speak Up Movement / University: “Over at Patheos, Timothy Dalrymple has posted his interview with David French on the meaning and impact of the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. In this in-depth interview, David discusses free association precedent that the Supreme Court ignored in yesterday’s opinion. He also highlights just how narrow the ruling actually is, thus correcting many media reports. And since UC-Hastings’ policy is almost unique in the nation, he explains what impact the decision could have on Christian students at other schools, in both the short and long term.”
All Headline News: “‘This decision doesn’t settle the core constitutional issue of whether nondiscrimination policies in general can force religious student groups to allow non-believers to lead their groups,’ Alliance Defense Fund lawyer [Gregory Baylor], one of several attorneys who represented CLS, said in a statement.” | ADF News Release
AlterNet: “[Gregory Baylor], senior legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, said the ruling ‘doesn’t settle the core constitutional issue of whether nondiscrimination policies in general can force religious student groups to allow non-believers to lead their groups. The conflict still exists.’ In the long run, Baylor said, the decision ‘puts other student groups across the country at risk.’” | ADF News Release
OneNewsNow: “[ADF Attorney Jordan Lorence] says the court’s ruling has not closed the door on the issue. ‘It’s not over with and there’s a lot more litigation,” he remarks. ‘This isn’t even a loss…in the sense that we’ve lost this issue. It’s that the Supreme Court has basically kicked it down the road for another day.’” | ADF Media Clips
WorldNetDaily: “[A] dissent from Justice Samuel Alito said it was the court’s endorsement – no more or less – of viewpoint discrimination against a Christian group that required its leaders to be, well, Christian. … ‘The conflict still exists. This decision doesn’t settle the core constitutional issue of whether nondiscrimination policies in general can force religious student groups to allow non-believers to lead their groups,’ explained senior legal counsel [Gregory S. Baylor] of the Alliance Defense Fund.” | ADF News Release
California Catholic Daily: “‘The conflict still exists,’ said Alliance Defense Fund senior legal counsel [Gregory S. Baylor]. ‘This decision doesn’t settle the core constitutional issue of whether nondiscrimination policies in general can force religious student groups to allow non-believers to lead their groups. Long-term, the decision puts other student groups across the country at risk, and we will continue to fight for their constitutional rights. The Hastings policy actually requires CLS to allow atheists to lead its Bible studies and the College Democrats to accept the election of Republican officers in order for the groups to be recognized on campus. We agree with Justice Alito in his dissent that the court should have rejected this as absurd.’” | ADF News Release | ADF News Release
Inside Higher Ed: “Michael W. McConnell, lead counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which led the legal defense for the CLS, said that he was ‘very disappointed’ by the Supreme Court’s decision and predicted that it would cause great harm to Christian student groups.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The Alliance Defense Fund, which helped represent the Christian Legal Society members seeking recognition on campus, similarly predicted that Monday’s decision would have limited impact because few other institutions have exactly the same policy. In a written statement, [Gregory S. Baylor], the group’s senior legal counsel, said the Hastings policy requires the Christian Legal Society to allow atheists to lead Bible studies or the College Democrats to allow the election of Republican officers. ‘We agree with Justice Alito in his dissent that the court should have rejected this as absurd,’ Mr. Baylor said.” | ADF News Release
CitizenLink: “[David French], senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, called the ruling ‘narrow and troubling.’ … ‘What makes this decision narrow,’ French said, ‘is that the “all-comers” policy is unique to Hastings.’ … ‘The university essentially (rode) roughshod over the free association rights of these students, holding that it was reasonable to require CLS to permit anyone, regardless of its views.’” | ADF News Release
beliefnetnews (Religion News Service): “‘Long-term, the decision puts other student groups across the country at risk, and we will continue to fight for their constitutional rights,’ [Greg Baylor] said in a statement. ‘The Hastings policy actually requires CLS to allow atheists to lead its Bible studies and the College Democrats to accept the election of Republican officers in order for the groups to be recognized on campus. We agree with Justice Alito in his dissent that the court should have rejected this as absurd.’” | ADF News Release
The Heritage Foundation | The Foundry: “As attested by both the Christian Legal Society and the Alliance Defense Fund, which assisted in the suit, the ruling is narrow because of several unusual facts in the case. For one, while the case was underway, the Hastings College of the Law advanced the position that its policy was to require all student groups to admit any and every interested law student as a member. The law school insisted that this policy was applied not only to CLS but to the Republican and Democratic clubs, the pro-life and pro-choice law groups, the feminist law association, La Raza, and so on. The CLS disputes this contention.” | ADF News Release
Associated Baptist Press: “‘We will keep litigating these issues,’ said [Jordan Lawrence] of the Alliance Defense Fund. ‘Unfortunately, the Supreme Court did not resolve very much with this issue; there’s a lot of litigation left to do over the rights of private organizations to make sure that their leadership agrees with the common message that organizations advocate.’” | ADF News Release
Christianity Today: “‘By emphasizing the value of dissent within groups, the Court ignores the fundamental reality of an all-comers policy: Distinct student organizations exist at the whim of the majority,’ [ADF Attorney David French] wrote. ‘If “all comers” can join, then the majority can override the speech of any student group. Thus the true marketplace of ideas exists by the permission (or, more likely, apathy) of the majority. The potential for minority or disfavored groups at schools with an all-comers policy to self-censor to avoid controversy — and potential hostile takeovers — is high.’” | ADF News Release
CBN News has video of “reaction on the Supreme Court ruling and what it could mean for other religious clubs and organizations on college campuses with [Casey Mattox], legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund.”
WORLDmag: “Because there are very few other public universities that have the same policy as Hastings, the Alliance Defense Fund, the group that represented the CLS, expects the ruling to have little immediate effect on other student groups. But they are concerned about the long-term effects of this ruling. ‘”The Hastings policy actually requires CLS to allow atheists to lead its Bible studies and the College Democrats to accept the election of Republican officers in order for the groups to be recognized on campus,” explained ADF Senior Legal Counsel [Gregory S. Baylor], in a statement.’”
Sarah Posner writing at Religion Dispatches: “The religious right is concerned, no doubt; the ADF is already citing Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent, warning that the decision ‘arms public educational institutions with a handy weapon for suppressing the speech of unpopular groups.’ That interpretation of what ADF president [Alan Sears] once described as the ‘collision course’ between the ‘homosexual agenda’ and religious freedom is the heart of the religious right’s opposition to LGBT equality, so it’s hard to imagine that a backlash to the decision isn’t on the horizon.” | ADF News Release
KansasCity.com (LA Times): “‘The court did not adjudicate whether the application of nondiscrimination policies to a religious student group is constitutional,’ said [Greg Baylor], senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. Baylor said two cases, involving religious groups from the University of Montana and San Diego State University, had been on hold pending the Hastings decision and may now go forward as the nondiscrimination policy questions remain unresolved.” | Los Angeles Times | ADF News Release
Christian Post: “The Christian Legal Society welcomes anyone, regardless of their beliefs, to join the Bible studies, clarified [Jordan Lorence], an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund that was on the team representing Christian Legal Society, to The Christian Post. But the group requires voting members and officers to sign a statement of faith that includes, among other beliefs, a line about ‘unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle’ as being inconsistent with the faith.” | ADF News Release
ADF Attorney David French writing at Speak Up Movement / University: “So the Supreme Court ‘affirmed and remanded’ the Ninth Circuit. What does that mean? It turns out that it doesn’t mean as much as you think. As I read through the Supreme Court’s opinion, I’m struck by the profound narrowness of its holding. Put simply, the Supreme Court upheld Hastings Law School’s policy that every student organization must be open to any student on campus. This policy is known as Hastings ‘all-comers’ policy, and as of the date of the oral argument in the case, we could not locate any other public university in the country with a similar policy. In fact, in the more than 10 years that I’ve been arguing and litigating this issue on campus, I’ve never seen another policy like it.” | ADF News Release
ADF Attorney David French writing at Phi Beta Cons: “The good: The Court’s ruling is remarkably narrow. … The bad: Despite the narrowness of the ruling, it’s still a bad opinion. By emphasizing the value of dissent within groups, the Court ignores the fundamental reality of an all-comers policy: Distinct student organizations exist at the whim of the majority. … The ugly: … This forced-funding regime is unique to student organizations on our nation’s campuses. In virtually no other context are citizens directly forced to fund expression they may abhor. Such a requirement exerts a powerful distorting effect on university jurisprudence, has spawned significant additional litigation, and directly influenced the outcome of the Martinez case.” | ADF News Release
Education Week | School Law: “‘[L]ong-term, the decision puts other student groups across the country at risk, and we will continue to fight for their constitutional rights,’ [Gregory S. Baylor], the ADF’s senior legal counsel, said in a statement. ‘The Hastings policy actually requires CLS to allow atheists to lead its Bible studies and the College Democrats to accept the election of Republican officers in order for the groups to be recognized on campus. We agree with Justice Alito in his dissent that the court should have rejected this as absurd.’”
Religion Clause Blog: “Many advocacy groups and interested parties have issued statements on yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. Here is a sampling . . . ” (links to press releases by numerous groups including ADF)
The Volokh Conspiracy: “The Supreme Court holds in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment is fully applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment. … In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Court affirms the Ninth Circuit 5–4. Justice Ginsburg writes the majority, siding with the University of California on narrow grounds. Justices Stevens and Kennedy write concurrences. The four conservatives dissent in an opinion by Justice Alito.”
Religion Clause: “Justice Alito wrote a dissent, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Thomas. The dissent argued that the Court should focus on the non-discrimination policy as written, since that was the policy originally invoked to deny CLS registration. That policy, the dissent argues, amounts to viewpoint discrimination since only religious groups are required to admit students who do not share their views. Political groups or groups formed around other causes can limit membership. The dissent goes on to argue that even limiting the analysis to the broader all-comers rule, the policy is unconstitutional. It was adopted as a pretext to suppress a particular viewpoint and it is not reasonable in light of the purposes of the student organization policy which is promoting diversity among student organizations.” | ADF News Release
Inside Higher Ed: “The Supreme Court ruled today, 5-to-4, that public colleges and universities may require religious organizations seeking recognition or funds as campus groups to comply with anti-bias rules. … The Supreme Court’s decision, by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, found that the law school’s policy was ‘a reasonable, viewpoint-neutral condition on access’ that did not raise First Amendment issues in the way the Christian Legal Society argued. … But the Alliance Defense Fund, which has backed the Christian Legal Society in the case, issued a blog post expressing hope that the decision may be based in large part on policies ‘unique to Hastings,’ expressing hope that there may be further review of some key claims. David French, a lawyer for the ADF, said: ‘This is a disappointing decision but one that does not come close to settling core constitutional issues on campus.’” | ADF News Release
Supreme Court: Calif. university’s policy upheld, but school still barred from targeting Christian group
SCOTUSblog: “[E]leven argued cases are still pending and are expected to be decided before the end of the Term.” …
Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (08-1371)
Doe v. Reed (09-559)
ADF Attorney Casey Mattox writing at Speak Up Movement / University: “The litigation in CLS v. Walker, for example, terminated with a settlement agreement whereby Southern Illinois University agreed to exempt religious organizations from its religion nondiscrimination requirement and agreed that CLS’s nonmarital sexual conduct policies are not ‘sexual orientation’ discrimination. Ohio State University, Arizona State University, Boise State University, the University of Minnesota, Penn State, Rutgers, Washburn University School of Law, and many other universities have similarly entered into binding settlement agreements that would prevent them from applying nondiscrimination rules to prohibit religious student groups from limiting leadership and voting membership to persons who share their religious beliefs. Having contracted to protect these rights, these universities would remain bound by those contracts no matter the outcome of CLS v Martinez.”