Free Association vs Free Assocation

free-association-free-associationI just became aware the Supreme Court recently decided an absolutely fascinating case, Christian Fellowship v. Leo P. Martinez et al.

The decision is a rather long read and I admit freely that I haven’t perused the entire thing as of yet. Also, my complete lack of legal training makes those documents tough for me anyway. I’ll try to summarize but anyone who has a better handle on the situation please feel free to clarify.

The University of California Hastings College of Law has a rule about student organizations it is willing to recognize. Such organizations are granted certain privileges at the college including meeting rooms. The rule is that they must accept anyone who applies, even someone whose stated views seem to be at odds with the group.

The group in question is the Christian Fellowship at Hastings. They forbid anyone who engages in premarital sex, among other things, from becoming a member. This was a clear violation of Hastings rule that to be recognized they must be willing to accept anyone who wants to join. The case went to the Supreme Court.

What I find insanely interesting about the case is that it is largely an argument about Free Association. The college wants to associate only with student groups who allow anyone to join and say they can exclude those who don’t. The Fellowship wants to associate with only people they want and feel free to exclude those who do meet their standards!

Both sides are essentially arguing the same point!

If you say the college must allow everyone regardless of their rules, it seems to me you can only say the Fellowship must allow everyone as well! If the college can exclude based on a rule then shouldn’t the Fellowship likewise be able to exclude?


What do you do with that one?

As I said, the ruling goes on for pages and pages but talk about a tough one!

There are times I’m glad I’m not a Supreme Court Justice!

I honestly don’t know what to think. Talk about the Kobayashi Maru!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition
Next Release: The Gray Horn

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