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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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Lee Ross

Supreme Court

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Christian School Group Loses Case @ SCOTUS

June 28, 2010 - 10:50 AM | by: Lee Ross

In a 5-4 opinion Monday, the Supreme Court has upheld the rights of a public law school California to bar a chapter of a national student organization because that organization’s beliefs violate the school’s policy on nondiscrimination.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had the opinion and said in requiring the Christian Legal Society “in common with all other student organizations–to choose between welcoming all students and forgoing the benefits of official recognition, we hold, Hastings [College of the Law] did not transgress constitutional limitations.

The CLS students seeking official recognition argued their First Amendments were violated when officials refused to grant them collective access to campus resources. The Court today ruled against that argument saying that CLS “seek not parity with other organizations, but a preferential exemption from Hastings’ policy. The First Amendment shields CLS against state prohibition of the organization’s expressive activity, however exclusionary that activity might be. But CLS enjoys no constitutional right to state subvention of its selectivity.”

Members of CLS must adhere to certain beliefs including the determination that premarital sex and all homosexual conduct is immoral. The group’s Statement of Faith makes clear that anyone violating these practices is subject to removal from the group.

Officials at the San Francisco law school determined this policy to be non-conforming with its non-discrimination policy and refused to recognize a CLS chapter on its campus. The Supreme Court’s ruling upholds that decision.

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