by Sylvia Fredericks
The Supreme Court yesterday ruled on a very interesting case: Christian Legal Society Chapter of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law v. Martinez.
The Supreme Court ruled against the Christian organization. The Chronicle of Higher Education had an article about the case back in April that laid out the multi-layered question of whether the student organization is allowed to exclude homosexuals from the organization. I think the Supreme Court may have made a mistake here. While I am not in favor of banning homosexuals from campus groups at all, I also don’t think the Court should be ruling in this case at all. The case seemed like an instance where the School’s policy needed clarification (and was clarified) and thus the issue was no longer an issue. Bringing it before the Supreme Court (and the Court actually ruling on the case) sets a precedent that strikes me as problematic.
The case is really complicated and I am not surprised the decision was so close. Here are a couple background links from Eugene Volokh at UCLA. The last link is the most recent and I find it interesting the Professor Volokh, who does not normally side with liberals, did so here and I, who often sides with liberals, am not willing to here.
- The Purpose of the Program Argument and Christian Legal Society v Martinez
- Christian Legal Society v Martinez and the Courts University Speech Decisions
- More on the Christian Legal Society v. Martinez
- “On Free Association, the Court Makes the Right Call”
Here is a piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education about the impact the ruling will have on higher education institutions: Supreme Court Decision on Law School’s Anti-Bias Policy May Have Limited Impact.