Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Christian Student Group Can Retain Selective Leadership Requirements

In Intervarsity Christian Fellowship USA v. University of Iowa, (SD IA, Sept. 27, 2019), an Iowa federal district court held that the University of Iowa and three of its administrators violated the free speech and free exercise rights of a Christian student organization when it revoked its registered student organization status. The University's action was taken because Intervarsity Christian Fellowship required its leaders to affirm the groups Christian statement of faith. The court said in part:
by granting the exceptions it has to the Human Rights Policy and refusing to make a similar exception for InterVarsity, the University has made a value judgment that its secular reasons for deviating from the Human Rights Policy are more important than InterVarsity’s religious reasons for the deviation it seeks. Because this reflects an impermissible “value judgment in favor of secular motivations,” ... the University’s decision to deregister InterVarsity is subject to strict scrutiny.
Becket issued a press release announcing the decision.