Patt Morrison for July 1, 2010

Should there be a right to discriminate? Debating the ramifications of Supreme Court’s “Christian Fellowship” decision

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Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Should discrimination be legal?

The Supreme Court's decision in the case of Hastings Christian Fellowship v. Martinez, focusing on a Christian group's right to be recognized by the UCSF Hastings School of Law, seems pretty straightforward. The court sided with the decision of Hastings Law School to deny the Christian Legal Society "registered organization status," based on the fellowship's exclusion of gay members. The Court ruled that Hastings' refusal of official status was a reasonable application of the school's nondiscrimination policy. However, by ruling that "all-comers" must be accepted, has the court inadvertently paved the way for student-run Jewish groups to be mandated to accept Neo-Nazi's? Gay-marriage advocate groups to accept those who oppose the objective of their very assembly? Is the 1st Amendment actually aided by a logical amount of discrimination?


Leo Martinez, former Acting Chancellor and Dean, Professor of Law, Hastings University

Mike McGough, Senior Editorial Writer for the Los Angeles Times, author of the editorial disagreeing with the Court’s decision

Walter Dellinger, Chair of the Appellate Practice at O'Melveny, heads the Harvard/O’Melveny Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Clinic, and is a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University.

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