Tuesday, June 29, 2010

SCOTUS: Free Association Less Important than Homosexuality

That's the gist of the high court's decision in the Christian Legal Society's case against the University of California. The case pitted the idea of freedom of religion versus a school's right to allow such organizations on campus.

The court bizarrely came down on the side of the school, saying that your First Amendment right of free association is less important than someone who doesn't adhere to your beliefs joining your organization.

But the high court ruled, 5-4, that the policy is a "reasonable and viewpoint-neutral" condition placed on becoming a recognized group, which entitles organizations to certain funding and access to campus facilities. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that the religious group is free to exclude nonadherents if it forgoes recognized status. "Hastings ... is dangling the carrot of subsidy, not wielding the stick of prohibition," Ginsburg wrote. She dismissed concerns voiced by the society that the policy would encourage "hostile takeovers" of groups like theirs by nonadherents whose aim is sabotage. "This supposition strikes us as more hypothetical than real," she wrote. "Students tend to self-sort."

If this interpretation is correct, we can expect the University of California to allow skinheads to take over college black and Hispanic student groups with impunity.