Good News For Guns, But Not Freedom of Association

Helen Whalen Cohen
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Posted: Jun 28, 2010 4:30 PM
The McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court decision is big news, but it isn't the only opinion worth noting. Another important opinion was handed down today, in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.

In 2004, the Christian Legal Society sued the Hastings College of Law for official recognition as a student organization. Unfortunately, their desire to to exercise their right to freedom of association was quashed by the law school's anti-discrimination policy.

The Christian Legal Society required officers and voting members to subscribe to basic Christian tenets. This violated the school's policy requiring clubs to admit voting members who do not agree with their beliefs. In an opinion written by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held that as long as the policy was applied to all student groups, it is "constitutionally reasonable".

This is a new standard. I agree with Justice Alito, that "no freedom for expression that offends prevailing standards of political correctness in our country’s institutions of higher learning". Although the opinion was specific to the Hastings College of Law, it strikes a blow to freedom of association and religious liberty everywhere.