The Supreme Court ruled today...
An ideologically split Supreme Court ruled Monday that a law school can legally deny recognition to a Christian student group that won't let gays join, with one justice saying that the First Amendment does not require a public university to validate or support the group's ''discriminatory practices.''
The court turned away an appeal from the Christian Legal Society, which sued to get funding and recognition from the University of California's Hastings College of the Law. The CLS requires that voting members sign a statement of faith and regards ''unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle'' as being inconsistent with that faith. But Hastings, which is in San Francisco, said no recognized campus groups may exclude people due to religious belief or sexual orientation. The court on a 5-4 judgment upheld the lower court rulings saying the Christian group's First Amendment rights of association, free speech and free exercise were not violated by the college's nondiscrimination policy.
''In requiring CLS—in common with all other student organizations—to choose between welcoming all students and forgoing the benefits of official recognition, we hold, Hastings did not transgress constitutional limitations,'' said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the 5-4 majority opinion for the court's liberals and moderate Anthony Kennedy. ''CLS, it bears emphasis, seeks not parity with other organizations, but a preferential exemption from Hastings' policy.''
Provided Kagan isn't against gay marriage—and that's a wide open question—and provided we can hold on to Kennedy, who in 2003 authored court's majority opinion that declared state sodomy bans (gay and straight) unconstitutional, Ted Olson and David Boies' fast-track-it-to-the-highest-court strategy may ultimately be vindicated.