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CLS_v_Martinez - 1 Roy Parker POSCI 130g Allison Renteln...

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Roy Parker POSCI – 130g Allison Renteln – Juvenal Cortes Term Paper 4/12/2011 “The Repudiation of UC Hastings’s Christian Legal Society” The case of Christian Legal Society of UC Hastings v. Martinez (2010) centers around a dispute between the chapter of the Christian Legal Society at UC Hastings and a policy that the university has in place regarding all student organizations. The policy was a nondiscriminatory policy that required every student organization to allow any student interested in joining the group to be able to become a member, run for leadership positions, etc, in order for the organization to gain official recognition as being affiliated with the university. The CLS had a problem with this policy because of the specific beliefs required by all members of the organization to follow and adhere to. They required of everyone in the organization to believe in such things as Jesus Christ being their Lord and Savior but also in other things like that a man and woman may not have sex outside of marriage and that they cannot be homosexual. The CLS complained to the university that requiring their organization to adhere to the nondiscrimination policy of the school that that opened them up to having those who were homosexual and did participate in premarital sex, which go against the beliefs of the group itself. They claimed that having to uphold the policy was a violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights including their freedom of religion and therefore decided to sue the university. After taking it to several courts and having them side with UC Hastings, the CLS took their case to the US Supreme Court. Ending in a 5-4 decision, the majority ruled that the university’s nondiscriminatory policy did not violate the organization’s 1
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constitutional rights stating that the CLS was not looking for equality amongst the other student organizations at the university but instead to be exempted from yet still be a part of them. The problem started when the Christian Legal Society sought official recognition from the University of California, Hastings. Being an officially recognized student organization allows for certain perks that non-recognized organizations are not allowed. This perks include the ability to use college facilities for meetings and planned events, being able to communicate with students through the e-mail system of UC Hastings, as well as apply to receive money from the college itself to be able to travel with the organization as a whole. But when the CLS applied to become a registered student organization, the university denied. The reason for the denial was that the university felt that the requirements that the CLS held for all of its members violated a school-wide policy of all recognized student organizations. The policy was one of nondiscriminatory for students seeking membership into any of the student organizations offered on campus. The intention of the policy was to allow any student regardless of sex, race, or beliefs access and membership into any
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  • Spring '10
  • Barnes
  • Supreme Court of the United States, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Christian Legal Society

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CLS_v_Martinez - 1 Roy Parker POSCI 130g Allison Renteln...

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