December 7, 2009

Political Correctness in the Balance: Law Student Group Gains Supreme Court Review of Alleged Anti-Christian Discrimination by UC Hastings

Christian legal fellowship groups provide a vital spiritual lifeline for law students trying to survive the rigors of law school with faith intact. Most of the more than 150 such student groups at U.S. law schools (see my lower sidebar list of links) are sponsored by the Christian Legal Society (CLS). But the ability of these groups to continue functioning at public universities has been in doubt since the University of California Hastings College of the Law's recent refusal to recognize its CLS chapter. The law school objects to the group's requirement that officers and voting members subscribe to Christian beliefs.

In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez the district judge ruled in favor of the law school. CLS appealed, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to reverse. CLS then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, in a press release issued by its Center for Law & Religious Freedom, CLS announced that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

From the Center's press release: “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.”

CLS has posted links to the full set of litigation documents and related materials.

Have you encountered anti-Christian bias as a lawyer or law student?

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