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Christian Legal Society Chapter of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law v. Martinez

United States Supreme Court
561 U.S. 661 (2010)



The University of California, Hastings College of the Law (Hastings) had a long-standing policy that, in exchange for receiving the benefits of being a school-recognized Registered Student Organization (RSO), an RSO was required to allow any student to participate, become a member of, or seek a leadership position in the RSO, regardless of status or belief. The Christian Legal Society (CLS) Chapter of Hastings (plaintiff) brought suit in federal court against Hastings, acting chancellor and dean Leo Martinez, and others (collectively Defendants) alleging that the policy impaired its First Amendment rights to free speech, expressive association, and civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The CLS sought injunctive and declaratory relief. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment. The district court granted Hastings’s motion for summary judgment and concluded that the policy was a valid exercise in furtherance of a reasonable educational purpose. The court of appeals affirmed. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

Concurrence (Kennedy, J.)

Dissent (Alito, J.)

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