It does not sound too far-fetched: some college students form a group and set restrictions concerning who they want in their group. Fraternities and sororities do it every day, concerning gender restrictions. Academic groups set restrictions concerning GPA standards.
However, when a Christian campus group applied for official recognition at University of California‘s Hastings College of the Law, it was rejected because it required members to share its religious views and views on marriage. The student group sued the school, and the case went to the Supreme Court. Today, the Supreme Court ruled against the student group. The main conflict was the school’s anti-discrimination policies versus the student group’s First Amendment Rights, mainly those of religion and association.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the school was “caught in the crossfire between a group’s desire to exclude and students’ demand for equal access, may reasonably draw a line in the sand permitting all organizations to express what they wish but no group to discriminate in membership.”
The decision was settled 5-4, with Justice Anthony Kennedy being the swing vote.
The dissenters were Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.
Justice Alito wrote a dissenting opinion and said “I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today’s decision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country.”
In my opinion, discrimination is a part of life. Sure, we should try to avoid it, but I think that freedom of expression is more important. If we are so concerned about not stepping on anyone’s toes, we end up impeding someone else’s freedoms of expression.
But hey, that’s just my view. What is your opinion on this controversial subject?