New Jersey Asks to Withdraw Opposition to Student Group in ‘CLS v. Martinez’

By on May 20, 2010

The State of New Jersey has asked to withdraw from an amicus brief opposing student groups’ fundamental right to freedom of expressive association in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, reports Jordan Lorence at the Alliance Defense Fund’s Academic Freedom File. In this landmark First Amendment case argued before the Supreme Court this April, FIRE filed an amicus brief defending the First Amendment right of student belief-based groups like CLS to engage in expressive association and decide their own group membership requirements.

FIRE does not know why New Jersey has requested to withdraw its support of the brief that was joined by a paltry four states—only New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maryland joined, while fourteen states wrote a brief supporting the Christian Legal Society and advocating for limits on their own powers.  We can only hope it is because New Jersey was persuaded by the point that FIRE emphasized in our brief: that individuals have the right to form groups around shared beliefs, beliefs that are not dictated by the state.