New York, NY, June 28, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a public law school can legally deny recognition to a student group if it fails to admit any interested student in violation of the school's anti-discrimination policy.
The League called the 5-4 decision in Christian Legal Society (CLS) v. Martinez a "ringing affirmation" of the right by public universities to implement and enforce policies that reject discrimination by officially sanctioned school clubs.
Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:
The Supreme Court's decision is a ringing affirmation that public universities have the right to implement and enforce policies that reject discrimination by school clubs. The Court has spoken loudly and clearly in favor of a public law school's "all-comers" policy that "ensures that no Hastings student is forced to fund a group that would reject her as a member." The ruling is fair and well-reasoned and reflects sound public policy solidly grounded in the Constitution.
The Christian Legal Society's attempt to limit its membership and to reject those that refused to abide by its Christian "statement of faith" – including all gay and lesbian students – while at the same time benefiting from student fees and official recognition as a "registered student organization" was rightfully rejected by the Court majority.
It is important to note that the decision does not prohibit the formation or functioning of groups who limit their membership. The precedent it establishes is that such groups have no constitutional right to government funding.
ADL filed an amicus brief in the case urging the Court to support Hastings Law School's non-discrimination policy. The brief was written by Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, Yehudah L. Buchweitz and Dotan Weinman of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, and joined by People for the American Way Foundation, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the American Association of University Women, Human Rights Campaign and the National Council of Jewish Women.