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Monday, February 08, 2010
From Students for Life of America:

Student Organizations File a Friend-of-the Court Brief in U.S. Spreme Court Addressing Student Speech

Arlington, VA - On Thursday, February 4th, attorney James Bopp Jr, filed a friend-of-the court brief in a U.S. Supreme Court case involving the rights of student groups on university campuses to determine the ideological requirements for membership in the group. The case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, involves a challenge to the University of California Hastings' derecognition of a Christian student group because it requires its members and leaders to be Christians. Should the lower court's ruling be upheld, no political, ideological, or religious student group would be safe.

Mr. Bopp represents Students for Life America, the College Republican National Committee, and the Republican National Lawyers Association. Each organization has student chapters that advance ideological or political ideals. Hastings' "all comers" policy requires student groups to permit all students to join as members and leaders, regardless of the effect on the groups' message. Thus, a Republican student group cannot require that a student be a Republican to join it or be its President. Pro-life student groups must allow a pro-abortion student to be its President.

James Bopp, Jr. explained: "this type of policy threatens the existence of any student organization that organizes to promote an ideology-conservative, liberal, and everything in-between." He continued, "the First Amendment protects student organizations' ability to define themselves along political, ideological, or religious grounds."

Students for Life of America Executive Director remarked: "The UC-Hasting's decision to de-recognize a Christian student group because it requires members to be Christian is absurb and alarming to my organization. Students for Life of America works with over 523 active pro-life student organizations throughout the United States, and this decision could have a devasting impact on those organizations."

James Bopp, Jr. has a national federal and state election law practice. He is with the law firm of Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom in Terre Haute, IN and is General Counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech.
Students for Life of America is a non-profit, secular organization dedicated to equipping the pro-life generation with the resources they need to end abortion in America. For more information on SFLA, please visit

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