Christian students get legal victory in fight against their university
Three students were allegedly subject to discrimination by the University of Idaho due to their traditional views on marriage.
Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye granted a preliminary injunction that upheld the First Amendment rights of Christian Legal Society members Peter Perlot, Mark Miller, and Ryan Alexander.
On June 30, Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye granted a preliminary injunction that upheld the First Amendment rights of Christian Legal Society (CLS) members Peter Perlot, Mark Miller, and Ryan Alexander.
The three students were allegedly subject to discrimination by the University of Idaho (U of I) due to their traditional views on marriage.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an organization dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of college students, defended the students in the lawsuit.
“University officials issued no-contact orders against Perlot, Miller, Alexander, and the CLS chapter’s faculty adviser, Professor Richard Seamon, after a student had asked the chapter why it requires its officers to affirm the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman,” ADF wrote in a July 1 press release.
ADF went on to state that “ [w]hen university officials issued the no-contact orders… they did not inform the CLS members that anyone had complained about them, and they did not give the students an opportunity to review the allegations against them or defend themselves.”
Mathew Hoffmann, Legal Counsel for ADF, said the students should be “guaranteed the freedom under the First Amendment to discuss their faith on campus, just like every other student and faculty member.”
The court’s preliminary injunction order clarifies that the “Constitution is a shield to protect one’s fundamental inalienable rights. It is not a sword to hew down the fundamental inalienable rights of others.”
Judge Nye concluded in the injunction that “[s]ome may disagree with Plaintiffs’ religious beliefs. Such is each person’s prerogative and right. But none should disagree that Plaintiffs have a right to express their religious beliefs without fear of retribution. The Constitution makes that clear.”
CLS Executive Director and CEO David Nammo told ADF that “[c]ollege campuses should be places where free speech is vibrant and the First Amendment is esteemed… CLS is grateful the court acknowledged this today and stood up against a cancel culture threatened by a marketplace of differing ideas.”
Campus Reform contacted the University of Idaho, CLS, and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. This article will be updated accordingly.