In two different cases, judges swat down anti-religious bigots in college administrations. In each of the following two columns, please follow the link embedded in the headlines to read the full pieces.

Judges slap down anti-religious zealots (March 29): Although courts repeatedly and correctly slap down college administrators acting as speech police, administrators will continue stifling speech until the administrators themselves are punished.

Still, the courts do what they can, as evidenced by a Thursday decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In Meriwether v. Hartop, a three-judge panel unanimously ruled in favor of a veteran professor’s First Amendment speech and religious rights against the administrators who disciplined him for refusing to adopt their ideology. In the course of a star chamber disciplinary “process,” administrators allegedly expressed open, repeated hostility against religion in general and Christianity in particular. As in other cases at the appellate and Supreme Court levels, the school’s abuse of academic freedom, free speech, and free religious exercise was appalling. Enough so, indeed, that a sane society would demand the administrators be removed from their posts….

Christian groups deserve same protections as other student organizations (April 6):

By now, it is unsurprising to see courts correctly rule against college administrators who violate rights to free speech, association, and religious exercise. It is heartening, though, to see a federal district judge go further, by holding individual administrators personally responsible for these abuses.

In Intervarsity Christian Fellowship v. Wayne State University, federal Judge Robert Cleland ruled that the state school discriminated against the Intervarsity student group for requiring that its leaders be Christians. In withdrawing Intervarsity’s campus privileges, Wayne State treated that group differently from many similarly situated groups that require their leaders to possess specific characteristics or profess particular beliefs. Cleland smacked the school down, hard and convincingly, citing extensive case law in the process….

 

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