Dec 8, 2009

Supreme Court to Hear CLS Student Group

Here is the press release from the Christian Legal Society:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court Monday agreed to decide whether a public university can refuse to recognize a religious student group because the group requires its leaders to share its religious beliefs. Attorneys with the Christian Legal Society and the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom represent a student chapter of CLS, which Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco refused to recognize because the group requires all of its officers and voting members to subscribe to its basic Christian beliefs.

“Public universities shouldn’t single out Christian student groups for discrimination. All student groups have the right to associate with people of like-mind and interest,” said Senior Counsel Kim Colby with the CLS Center for Law & Religious Freedom. “We trust the Supreme Court will not allow Hastings to continue to deprive CLS of this right by forcing the group to abandon its identity as a Christian student organization.”

“Christian students have the right to gather as Christians for a common purpose and around shared beliefs,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Gregory S. Baylor with the ADF Center for Academic Freedom. “It’s completely unreasonable--and unconstitutional--for a public university to disrupt the purposes of private student groups by forcing them to accept as members and officers those who oppose the very ideas they advocate.”

CLS Litigation Counsel Timothy J. Tracey, now with ADF, argued Christian Legal Society v. Martinez before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in March. The appellate court refused to reverse a district judge’s decision against CLS, so the case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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There's some buzz, too:

Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Volokh Conspiracy, Christian Law Journal, Mirror of Justice, Fox News

Update: Touchstone's Mere Comments points us to Get Religion, and the NYT weighs in as well.

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