Word in Action Ministry Law College
in association with

Ecclesiastical Court of Justice & Law Offices

"Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered" - Luke 11:52

Supreme Court Takes Up Law School Case on Christian Student Group

Tony Mauro

The National Law Journal

December 07, 2009


The Supreme Court agreed Monday morning to take up the first church-state case of the term, a dispute over recognition of the Christian Legal Society's chapter at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. The case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, stems from the state law school's denial of official recognition to the Christian student group because it does not conform to the school's requirement that membership and leadership positions be open to all.

The Hastings chapter of the society requires members and officials to sign a statement of faith that vows devotion to Jesus Christ and has been interpreted to bar those with a "sexually immoral lifestyle." Student groups that are officially recognized are eligible for meeting space, means of communicating with students and student funds for their activities.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in an unpublished two-sentence ruling in March, said the law school's action was "viewpoint neutral and reasonable." The society, in asking for high court review, asserted that the 9th Circuit decision is in clear conflict with a 2006 7th Circuit decision involving the same organization, Christian Legal Society v. Walker. In that case, which originated at the Southern Illinois University School of Law, the court found that the Christian group's message would be weakened if it was forced to accept members who disagree with it, thereby violating its First Amendment rights.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State reacted to Monday's high court action with a statement by executive director Barry Lynn: "Public schools have every right -- indeed, an obligation -- to refuse to advance religious discrimination. Groups that wish to engage in discrimination should not expect public subsidies."

This article first appeared on The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.



And He said, "woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not their burdens with one of your fingers" - Luke 11:46

Food For Thought

In The News

Supreme Court takes up Law School Case on Christian Student Group.

Why Is Supreme Court Holding onto Christian Legal Society Case? here

9th Circuit Rules Law School Cannot Be Required to Recognize Religious Student Group That Discriminates. here


Judge Naidu writes to U.S. Supreme Court Justices en banc regarding immigration visas for Christian religious workers. Read the letter here

Law Links

Financial Links

On site links

Links of Value

Worthy of your visit