But with the Hastings decision we have to keep in mind the following factors: (1) the policy at issue in that case is different in key respects from what is at issue at Vanderbilt (‘all-comers’ versus nondiscrimination on certain grounds); (2) that the SCT was merely ruling on its constitutional permissibility, not its policy virtues; and (3) the SCT certainly was not recommending that Hastings’ extremely unusual policy was obligatory or even to be commended to other schools for implementation (a common misconception).
In the end, what is ultimately at stake here are the God-given rights to freedom of speech and religion. With these, of course, is the freedom of association, all of which are facing a frontal assault from the misapplication of policies like those we’re currently seeing at Vanderbilt University.
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.
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