The Closed Mind of the American University -- and the Court's Martinez Majority

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jun 28, 2010 5:56 PM
It is remarkable that a majority of the Supreme Court (5-4) would actually believe it is constitutionally permissible for a public law school to withold funding to a religious organization on campus simply because that organization requires that its officers and voting members agree with its religious viewpoint.  But today, that's what happened.

It's tempting to speculate about whether the outcome would have been the same had it been a non-Christian religious organization that had been the plaintiff in such a case.  Would the lefties on the Court have looked with a more sympathetic eye on, say, a Buddhist, Muslim or wiccan group?  Would such a university policy even been enforced in the first place?

It's also tempting to encourage Christians and conservatives to start demonstration to liberals exactly what such policies mean.  How will, say, the LGBT group feel about welcoming those who believe their sexual behavior isn't necessary something to be celebrated?  Or to use an example more likely to hit home for Justice Ginsburg (to whom condolences are due on the death of her husband), is the campus woman's group prepared for new members who, say, espouse more traditional roles for women?

No doubt the campus policy can be changed if it ends up causing a sufficient amount of disharmony and disruption.  But the ugly constitutional precedent remains -- and that's a shame.