The U.S. Supreme Court isn’t yet ready to hear legal challenges to Prop 8, but how about a lawsuit from an anti-gay Christian group that insists a college doesn’t have the right to discriminate against it because it hates homos? Sure!
Battling back against a federal appeals court decision, the Christian Legal Society appealed to the Supreme Court to hear its case — Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (UC Hastings) — against the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, which refused to recognize the group because it doesn’t conform with the college’s non-discrimination policy. And today, the justices accepted.
Founded in 1961, the Christian Legal Society maintained law student chapters across the country. Its members hold Bible study meetings and discuss ways to apply their religious faith to the practice of law.
The chapter initially was open to all students, but in 2004 it began requiring members to endorse a statement of faith and barred anyone who engaged in “unrepentant sexual conduct.” The law school withdrew official recognition, but allowed the group to still meet on campus.
A federal judge and then a U.S. appeals court ruled for the law school, holding that its policy was reasonable and “viewpoint neutral” and that it did not violate the rights of the Christian group.
But another federal appeals court, in Chicago, had ruled the other way in 2006 in a case involving a chapter of the Christian Legal Society and the Southern Illinois University School of Law.
By agreeing the hear the case, the Supreme Court is expected to resolve the conflicting rulings. The justices are expected to hear arguments in the case in March, with a decision likely by the end of June.