(Washington, DC) -- The fate of after-school Bible clubs in California may rest on the outcome of a lawsuit filed today in United States District Court. The suit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) argues that Orange County’s Buena Park School District unconstitutionally rejected a Christian youth club’s request to meet in District facilities on equal grounds with similar, nonprofit, nonreligious youth organizations.
The “Good News Club,” a local affiliate of the international, Bible-centered organization Child Evangelism Fellowship, provides school kids with extracurricular educational programming and recreational activities that teach about life from a biblical perspective. Child Evangelism Fellowship’s West Orange County chapter was denied a request to use district facilities free of charge, despite California Education Code allowing nonprofit, youth-oriented groups to use public school facilities at no cost. Similar nonprofit groups have historically been permitted to meet after hours without charge at Buena Park schools.
“This selective application of policy speaks ill of the Buena Park School District’s respect for and understanding of the Constitution,” said David French, ACLJ Senior Counsel. “Freedom doesn’t stop at the schoolhouse door. Child Evangelism Fellowship has every right to equal treatment and access to public school facilities for its after-school events.”
The ACLJ’s lawsuit, posted here, contends Buena Park School District stands in violation of the First Amendment on free speech, free exercise of religion and establishment of religion grounds. It also asserts that Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law has been impacted by the district’s selective application of its own facility usage policies.
"Ultimately, this case is about legal equality. Religious speech is entitled to the same access as any other kind of speech, and religious students deserve the same treatment as all other students," said French.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington.
President Obama has a penchant for presidential power plays. He has been following his own playbook since January 2014 when he declared: “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone” – his promise to do all that he could to bypass Congress – relying on Executive Orders and actions instead of legislation.
Another election day is upon us, but for many the question lingers: Why vote? Many of you reading this may even be asking, there’s an election today? No, the President isn’t on the ballot, neither are the members of the U.S. House or Senate. Unless you live in Kentucky, Louisiana, or Mississippi,
The FBI is reportedly focusing its investigation into Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal on a particular federal law governing “gross negligence” in handling national defense secrets. As I explained this summer, this felony, 18 U.S.C § 793, could be the most legally...
For years, the ACLJ has fought—and continues to fight—to defend your Constitutionally protected freedoms. Your support allows us to fight for the lives of the unborn, defend the Constitution, and protect the religious liberties of all U.S. citizens. Here are a few of the victories that you’ve...