Christian Legal Society V. Martinez Case Summary

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Rachel K. Davis Legal Brief 2 10/5/2015 Case name: Christian Legal Society v. Martinez Full legal citation: 561 U.S. 661; 130 S. Ct. 2971; 177 L. Ed. 2d 838; 2010 U.S. LEXIS 5367; 78 U.S.L.W. 4821; 57 A.L.R. Fed. 2d 573; 22 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 667, 2010 Case Facts: During the academic year of 2004-2005, a group of students at Hastings College of Law (a public institution) formed the Christian Legal Society (CLS). In order to be a member of CLS, the organization required students follow their organizational bylaws, including signing a “Statement of Faith.” By signing the Statement of Faith, students affirmed their religious beliefs were in alignment with CLS’s. These beliefs included that sexual activity should not occur outside of marriage, and that marriage should be between a man and a woman (i.e., heterosexual). CLS applied for Recognized Student Organization (RSO) status at Hastings. The administration denied CLS’s request because the organization did not comply with the institution’s “accept all-comers” standard for RSOs by restricting non-heterosexual and non-Christian students from joining. Although the college did not grant CLS status as an RSO and therefore did not provide it any funds from mandatory student fees, Hastings did not prohibit the group’s meetings and events on campus.…show more content…
Hastings, however, maintained that they had the authority to restrict the disbursement of mandatory student fee funds to organizations that prohibited the participation of all students at the institution. CLS filed suit against Hastings in federal district court, and the court found in favor of Hastings. CLS then filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit District Court of Appeals, who affirmed the lower court’s decision. CLS subsequently petitioned the Supreme Court to hear their

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