June 30, 2010
On June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. The question in this case was whether a public university's law school may deny funding and other benefits to a religious student organization because the organization refuses to abide by a non-discrimination policy that would prevent it from requiring its officers and voting members to agree with its core beliefs, including beliefs concerning homosexual conduct.
In a 5-4 opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held that the petitioner, the Hastings Christian Legal Society chapter, was bound by its stipulation that Hastings’ policy required student organizations to admit all comers in order to participate in the Registered Student Organization program. The Court further ruled that this policy was a reasonable, viewpoint-neutral condition on access to a limited public forum consistent with the First Amendment.
To discuss the case, we have University of Chicago and New York University Law School Professor Richard A. Epstein, who was Counsel of Record on a brief submitted by the Cato Institute in support of the petitioner.