Vanderbilt Law seen violating a principle on which it is founded
March 14, 2012
Vanderbilt Law School has ruled that the Christian Legal Society cannot restrict membership to students who adhere to a statement of faith. The school announced that it will not allow campus organizations to “impose faith-based or belief-based requirements for membership or leadership.”
Michael Stokes Paulsen notes that Vanderbilt Law School has the legal right to set that policy, because the law protects the very freedoms that the school is suppressing:
Vanderbilt is a private university engaged in forming its own distinctive expressive identity. As such, it is free to choose from any of a number of possible views. It could choose to embrace specific religious principles and exclude the expression of other ones.
The irony is that Vanderbilt does not allow students the rights that the university itself enjoys.