Tuesday, July 29, 2008

News roundup and scholarly commentary on Colorado Christian University v. Weaver victory

(Click here for the CLS Center's background and summary of the case along with the Tenth Circuit opinion and briefs of the parties and of amici curiae.)

Oglethorpe Univ. Prof. Joseph M. Knippenberg for First Things: Unfortunately, those efforts put the Colorado government in the business not only of closely scrutinizing religious doctrine and institutions but also of discriminating between denominations and institutions on the basis of their relative “sectarianism.” It’s hard to imagine two activities more at odds with the values inherent in the First Amendment religion clauses. (Well, not really: there are religious tests for office-holding, not to mention persecution, though Colorado was surely approaching the former in conditioning eligibility for student aid on the character of an institution’s professed religiosity.)

Notre Dame Law Prof. Rick Garnett on Mirror of Justice (Roman Catholic legal theory blog): Here's the key sentence: We find the exclusion unconstitutional for two reasons: the program expressly discriminates among religions without constitutional justification, and its criteria for doing so involve unconstitutionally intrusive scrutiny of religious belief and practice. More later ....

Univ. of Toledo Law Prof. Howard Friedman on Religion Clause Blog: In an important decision interpreting the scope of the Supreme Court's 2004 Locke v. Davey decision, yesterday the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Colorado acted unconstitutionally in excluding from its college scholarship program students who attend "pervasively sectarian" institutions.

Howard J. Bashman on How Appealing (appellate law blog) provided early coverage of the opinion and early news articles.

Editorial of the Colorado Springs Gazette: It's shocking that state oficials needed a federal court to tell them not to discriminate on the basis of religion.

Joey Bunch for the Denver Post: Court: Colorado financial aid ban unconstitutional

Justin Pope for the Associated Press (AP): Another courtroom victory for religious colleges