Supreme Court to Decide Key Case Affecting Pro-Life College Student Groups
by Steven Ertelt
February 8, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Supreme Court will eventually decide a key case that could affect the hundreds of pro-life student groups on college and university campuses. Last week, Students for Life of America filed a friend-of-the-court brief to protect pro-life student groups who don’t want abortion advocates leading them.
The landmark case involves the rights of student groups on university campuses to determine the ideological requirements for membership in the group.
Christian Legal Society v. Martinez involves a challenge to the University of California Hastings’ de-recognition of a Christian student group because it requires its members and leaders to be Christians.
Hastings’ "all comers" policy requires student groups to permit all students to join as members and leaders, regardless of the effect on the groups’ message. As a result, pro-life student groups would be forced to allow a pro-abortion student to become the president or another leader of the organization.
Students for Life America and other groups that could see their members affected by the outcome of the case had prominent pro-life attorney James Bopp filed legal papers with the Supreme Court challenging the lower court’s decision upholding the policy.
In an email to LifeNews.com, Bopp explained that "this type of policy threatens the existence of any student organization that organizes to promote an ideology-conservative, liberal, and everything in-between."
He said "the First Amendment protects student organizations’ ability to define themselves along political, ideological, or religious grounds."
Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America, also weighed in on the case.
"The UC-Hasting’s decision to de-recognize a Christian student group because it requires members to be Christian is absurd and alarming to my organization," she told LifeNews.com. "Students for Life of America works with over 523 active pro-life student organizations throughout the United States, and this decision could have a devastating impact on those organizations."
Related web sites:
Students for Life of America – https://www.studentsforlife.org
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