- Lawsuit Filed After Tragic Death of Northwestern Student
- Are Mandatory Study Tables Considered Hazing?
- Who is Discriminating Against Whom?
- Two Lawsuits Filed Against Harvard
- Were Single Sex Fraternities Bullied Off Campus at UMW?
- Male Assailants Claim Victimization Against Their Universities
- Lawsuit Filed Following Criminal Plea Bargain
- Largest Ever Settlement Reached in Hazing Case
- K-12 Case with Potential Future Implications for Greek Groups
- Investigation into Tragic Death of Ohio University Student Focused on Hazing
- Florida Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Hazing Statute
- Court Finds for Alpha Chi Rho in Zoning Challenge
Newsletter > January 2019 > "Who is Discriminating Against Whom?"
Who is Discriminating Against Whom?
Ilana Linder, Manley Burke, firstname.lastname@example.org
Over a year ago, a small student group that was deregistered by its university filed a lawsuit against the school. Just last month, the U.S. Department of Justice intervened, filing a brief in support of the student group.
The group, Business Leaders in Christ, claims that the University of Iowa violated its First and Fourteenth
Amendment rights when it withheld university recognition to the group on account of the group’s belief
statement all members must subscribe to. Specifically, the belief statement, which the University deems
“unwelcoming” and therefore impermissible, contains language explicitly supporting heterosexual relationships. Importantly, however, the group does not limit its membership to individuals who identify as heterosexual. Indeed, homosexual individuals—so long as they also agree to subscribe to the group’s statement—could theoretically be members of the group. As such, the group is not engaging in any status-based discrimination.
In fervently supporting the student group’s position, the Department of Justice highlights the University’s
inconsistent regulation of different student groups, which, according to the DOJ, has resulted in a disparate treatment of similarly-situated student groups. Specifically, the DOJ criticizes the University for cherry-picking which groups’ beliefs it wishes to allow and which it seeks to condemn. Such viewpoint discrimination not only runs contrary to the law, but also to the very notion of our schools serving as the primary exposure of young minds to the marketplace of ideas.