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Court Strikes Right Balance in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez


Rabbi Saperstein: " [I]n deciding that [Christian Legal Society's] exercise of... religious freedom does not require the university to give formal endorsement or financial support when discriminatory activity is involved, the Court struck the right balance between religious freedom and the rights of its students to be free of discrimination."

Contact: Sean Thibault or Jessica Weiser
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28th, 2010 -- - In response to today's Supreme Court decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director and Counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

“We welcome today's Supreme Court decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which holds that a public university's policy of offering official recognition and funding only to student organizations that do not discriminate, does not violate the First Amendment. This decision reflects the arguments in the amicus brief that the Union for Reform Judaism submitted, together with the American Jewish Committee and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which asserts that Hastings Law School has a compelling interest in barring exclusionary practices and that its viewpoint neutral policy passes constitutional muster.

The Christian Legal Society (CLS), both before and after this decision, can exercise its right to religious liberty by meeting and advertising on the campus, regardless of its restrictions on membership or leadership. But in deciding that CLS' exercise of that religious freedom does not require the university to give formal endorsement or financial support when discriminatory activity is involved, the Court struck the right balance between religious freedom and the rights of its students to be free of discrimination."

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.



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