‘Wall Street Journal’ and ‘L.A. Times’ Blast Supreme Court’s Decision in ‘CLS v. Martinez’

By July 2, 2010

This week, both The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times published editorials echoing FIRE’s concerns about the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times eloquently made the case for freedom of association and succinctly challenged the wisdom of the “all-comers policy” the Court deemed constitutional:

The best argument against the policy is that it actually undermines diversity by making every student group potentially interchangeable in its membership. A better way to promote diversity of viewpoints is to allow groups on campus to define their beliefs including religious beliefs and compete for the allegiance of students. Hastings should give it a try.

Similarly, The Wall Street Journal published an editorial (subscription required) yesterday making a compelling case against the majority’s opinion. The editors wrote that “under the guise of nondiscrimination, the school would actively suppress the convictions of certain groups and their ability to express their views” by forcing them to include students who may be hostile to the group’s mission.

FIRE made precisely this argument in our amici brief, as Meghan discussed in a blog entry on Tuesday.

Especially noteworthy is the Journal‘s paragraph on “state subsidies,” which mirrors the concerns expressed in Erica’s blog posted Thursday afternoon:

The Court’s definition of “state subsidies,” meanwhile, is especially pernicious. Government may “own” the roads, but that doesn’t mean it can say citizens can only drive if their associations meet government approval. Just because private schools and churches receive the “subsidy” of tax exemptions doesn’t mean the government can say they must accept all comers.

Both editorials are well worth reading in their entirety.

Schools: University of California Cases: University of California Hastings College of the Law: Denial of Recognition to Christian Law School Group