Phi Beta Cons

Hastings Law School Loses New Jersey

Over at ADF’s Academic Freedom File, Jordan Lorence breaks some intriguing news about a recent development in CLS v. Martinez. The State of New Jersey has asked to withdraw from its amicus brief supporting Hastings Law School. Jordan explains:

New Jersey is withdrawing from a brief  opposing CLS that was joined by a meager collection of four states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and Maryland). Of course, that brief was overshadowed by the fourteen states that joined an amicus brief supporting CLS. It is great to have such a large number of states supporting CLS, which stands in stark contrast to the dwindling handful of states opposing CLS in this case.

It is highly unusual for a state attorney general to withdraw from an amicus brief, especially at the level of the U.S. Supreme Court.  It is an intriguing question as to why this has happened.   

I hesitate to speculate as to the reasons for this move. One thing is clear, however: It is a symbol of the moral and legal strength of CLS’s argument that such a disproportionate number of states have taken the unusual step of supporting limits on state authority over private organizations. Fourteen states recognize the importance of the marketplace of ideas in higher education and recognize the value of Christian voices on campus. Now only three states stand starkly against religious liberty.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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