Sunday, December 29, 2013

Court Rejects Challenge To University's Severing of Ties With Chabad House For Alcohol Violations

In Lubavitch-Chabad of Illinois, Inc. v. Northwestern University, (ND IL, Dec. 19, 2013), an Illinois federal district court upheld Northwestern University's decision to end its official recognition of a Jewish student religious center operated by Chabad so long as Rabbi Dov Klein was Chabad's representative on campus.  The University ended its affiliation with the Chabad House because Rabbi Klein had repeatedly served alcoholic beverages there to underage students in connection with religious meals and celebrations.  The court rejected claims that the University's actions violated 42 USC Sec. 1981 (racial discrimination in the making of contracts) and Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because the complaint alleged religious, not racial or ethnic, discrimination.  The court also concluded that plaintiffs had not demonstrated that any religious or ethnic discrimination was involved in the disaffiliation. The Daily Northwestern, reporting on the decision, says that plaintiffs plan to appeal. Failed Messiah blog also reports on the decision.