Monday, January 14, 2008

Briefing Complete in CO Student Aid Case

Briefing is complete in Colorado Christian University v. Baker now that the CLS Center filed a reply brief on behalf of CCU in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Colorado takes away state student aid from otherwise eligible economically disadvantaged students who choose universities the state deems "pervasively sectarian." In other words, if a poor high school senior chooses a public university, a thoroughly secular college (e.g., Colorado College), or a "less religious" university (e.g., Regis University), he or she keeps his or her aid. But if he or she chooses CCU, aid is revoked -- no matter what sort of degree the student plans to earn.

In the lawsuit, CCU alleged that the state violated the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court disagreed, and CCU appealed.

Eric V. Hall of Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP and I prepared the brief. We expect oral argument to occur in May or September.