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High Court Upholds Hasting's Stance

Publication Date: 
June 29, 2010
Daily Journal
Lawrence Hurley

Professor Michael McConnell is quoted in the Daily Journal on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. McConnell is representing the Christian Legal Society in challenging the anti-bias policy and its effect on student organizations with belief-based membership criteria at UC Hastings College of the Law:

Split along ideological lines, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that UC Hastings College of the Law could refuse to register a Christian group that wants to bar gays from active membership.

The court held 5-4, with Justice Anthony Kennedy siding with his liberal colleagues, that the San Francisco law school's "all comers" policy that requires all student groups to allow anyone to join as members did not violate the First Amendment rights of the Christian Legal Society. The policy applies to anyone seeking to join religious groups even if they don't share the core religious belief of the group in question. Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, 2010 DJDAR 9821.


The Christian group's lawyer, Michael McConnell of Stanford Law School, said the case is not over. He will now have the opportunity to present evidence that Hastings selectively applied the all comers policy.

Furthermore, the question the court didn't decide over whether a nondiscrimination policy can be discriminatory when applied to religious groups is likely to come up in other pending cases, he added.

"There's going to be a lot more litigation," McConnell said.