June 28, 2010 – Washington, D.C.- AJC applauded today’s Supreme Court ruling in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, upholding the right of a state university to withhold funding and official recognition from a student group that denied membership or leadership positions to students based on religion and sexual orientation.
“The Supreme Court has done the right thing in recognizing the strong interest that universities have in barring exclusionary practices by recognized campus organizations,” said AJC Director of National and Legislative Affairs Richard Foltin. “There is nothing unreasonable—or unconstitutional—about a state university setting viewpoint-neutral ground rules for school groups that receive official recognition and funding.”
Foltin added, “At the same time, in a case with implications for associational and free expression interests, the Court did well to note that the school has continued to allow the club access to school facilities to hold meetings and advertise events.”
A student chapter of the Christian Legal Society at Hastings College of Law, a part of the University of California, brought suit challenging the school’s denial of official university recognition and funding because the club would not allow students who do not adhere to the club’s religious beliefs to join the club or hold leadership positions.
AJC organized the filing of an amicus brief in support of Hastings that was joined by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Union for Reform Judaism.