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CLS v. Martinez, 561 U. S - Coursework Example

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A LEGAL BRIEF ON THE RECENT U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING IN CLS V. MARTINEZ, 561 U. S. (2010) On June 28, 2010, the United States Supreme Court gave a ruling on the CLS vs. Martinez, 561 US _130 S.Ct. 2971, 177 L.Ed.2d 838 (2010). The case was filed by the Christian Legal Society (CLS) at the Hastings College of Law at University of California on the ground that official governing groups should accept all the students regardless of their beliefs and status to acquire recognition…
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A LEGAL BRIEF ON THE RECENT U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING IN CLS V. MARTINEZ, 561 U. S. On June 28, the United s Supreme Court gave a ruling on the CLS vs. Martinez, 561 US ___130 S.Ct. 2971, 177 L.Ed.2d 838 (2010). The case was filed by the Christian Legal Society (CLS) at the Hastings College of Law at University of California on the ground that official governing groups should accept all the students regardless of their beliefs and status to acquire recognition. The respondents were Leo Martinez, Acting Chancellor and Dean of Hastings College of Law, University of California; Jacqueline Ortega, Student Services Director; the Board of Directors of Hastings College of Law, University California: Donald Bradley, Tina Combs, Maureen Corcoran, Marci Dragun, Carin T. Fujusaki, Thomas Gede, Claes H. Lewenhaupt, James E. Mahoney, Brian D. Monaghan, and Bruce L. Simon. The Intervenor-Respondent is Hastings Outlaw which is a student association at Hastings College of Law, University of California. The opinion of the Court was delivered by Justice Ruth Ginsburg which was joined by Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Paul Stevens, Justice Sonya Sotomayor, and Justice Anthony Kennedy. The concurring opinions were delivered by Justice Paul Stevens and Justice Anthony Kennedy. A dissent was written by Justice Samuel Alito joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. The issue presented before the Court was by CLS under the US Constitution First Amendment. CLS argued that whether the Constitution permits a public law school university to exclude a religious student group or association to be registered on the basis that the group requires that its officers and members share the school’s same religious commitments. CLS argued that Hastings College of Law can alter its policy to allow groups to exclude a student if that student’s beliefs were not in correspondence to that student group but should not allow a student to be excluded from the group or organization based on the status of the student that is race or gender. Hastings College of Law requires that any recognized student group or association should allow the students to take part regardless of their status or beliefs. One student organization, Christian Legal Society (CLS) obliged members to sign ‘Statement of Beliefs’ according to which they had to refrain from certain behaviors. On this basis, Hastings denied to recognize CLS as a student organization in the campus. Therefore, CLS sued Hastings on grounds that Hastings violated the organization’s rights of discrimination against any non-Christian students. CLS argued that Hastings is violating the right of expression to allow discrimination against such students who do not share the same point of view as those of the organization which withholds the organization’s ability to express its group message. The CLS students appealed to the Ninth Circuit citing Truth v. Kent School District, 542 F.3d 634 (9th Cir. 2008) and Hsu v. Roslyn Union Free School District, 85 F.3d 839 (2d Cir. 1996). The case did not go in their favor and thus they appealed to the Supreme Court to ask for a reversal of the Ninth Circuit’s decision. The ruling of the case was very debatable but in the end the Supreme Court rejected the CLS’s challenge to First Amendment in favor of Hastings College of Law at University of California to deny CLS the status of a registered student organization. Justice Ginsburg explained that Hastings would have to review each of the registered students’ organization to determine any exclusionary rules that might have been cloaked from them. Two examples of the cases were given namely Healy v. James, 408 U. S. 169 (1972) in which the Connecticut state college had to recognize a chapter of the organization called Students for a Democratic Society and Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of Univ. of Va., 515 U. S. 819 (1995) in which the equal funding was the right of all the religious publications at the Virginia University. Justice Ginsburg also referred to Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263, 268-270 (1981) to give justifications to the ruling made in case of CLS v. Martinez, 561 U. S. (2010). In this case, Hastings wanted to equal treatment of the student organizations while CLS wanted an exemption for their membership guidelines. The decision of the court especially the status and conduct discussion was cited by petitioners in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger as an example that sexual orientation is identifiable which opposed the respondents’ argument that it is behavioral. The future ramifications of the ruling would be colleges and universities should keep in mind that such rulings cannot end litigation over such policies on student organizations as their policies can be challenged legally as a result of this decision. Read More
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