Monday, March 9, 2009

Oral Argument Tomorrow in CLS Chapter Nondiscrimination Case

CLS Center attorney Tim Tracey will present oral argument tomorrow to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Christian Legal Society v. Kane.

The case arose when the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco withdrew recognition and its benefits from the law school's Christian Legal Society chapter. The chapter draws its leaders and voting members from among those who voluntarily profess faith in Christ and who attempt to abide by CLS's standards of conduct. Hastings labeled this "discrimination" on the basis of religion and "sexual orientation."

Represented by CLS's Center for Law & Religious Freedom, the Center filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court. The district court ruled against the chapter, and it appealed.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has already ruled for a CLS chapter in a virtually identical dispute. That court held that Southern Illinois University violated the Constitution by withholding recognition from its CLS chapter based upon its alleged violation of the school's nondiscrimination policy.