Supreme Court to consider case against California law school
By Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - At the oldest law school in the West, law is being made this semester, not just taught.
In a case that carries great implications for how public universities and schools must accommodate religious groups, the University of California's Hastings College of the Law is defending its anti-discrimination policy against charges that it denies religious freedom.
The college, which requires officially recognized student groups to admit any Hastings student who wants to join, may be well-meaning, says the student outpost of the Christian Legal Society. But the group contends that requiring it to allow gay students and nonbelievers into its leadership would be a renunciation of its core beliefs, and that the policy violates the Constitution's guarantee of free speech, association with like-minded individuals and exercise of religion.
"Hastings' policy is a threat to every group that seeks to form and define its own voice," the group told the court in a brief. The case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, will be argued in the Supreme Court Monday morning.
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