The Supreme Court Upholds Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech Against an Outrageous Attack by a Georgia University
Dangers for Christian individuals, schools, and colleges are now clearly and unmistakably on the nation’s horizon. This is so because left-wing advocates and others continue to advance policies that place constitutional rights at risk. Recently, Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ, argued that the American people wisely demand adherence to the United States Constitution, the rule of law, and accountable leaders despite the grave dangers and mortal threats advanced by authoritarian responses to the pandemic. Accountability means accountability to the people, not upper-class elitists, globalists, and social justice warriors who wish to dissolve both the nation’s collective memory as a constitutional republic and the nation’s adherence to the rule of law rather than progressive ideology. Vigilance and accountability are immensely important in establishing a bulwark against the dangers that are lurking within the corridors of power in the Biden Administration.
Despite dangers issuing forth from the Biden Administration, this week the United States Supreme Court in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, (Slip Opinion No. 19-968) issued an 8-1 decision upholding the right of enrolled college students to exercise their religion by sharing their faith on campus.
This decision shrinks the power of elite university bureaucrats to abrogate and diminish students’ First Amendment rights. The facts of this case are important. First, the university informed Mr. Uzuegbunam, the lead plaintiff, that he and other students could not distribute written religious materials or speak outside areas designated for that purpose without obtaining university permission. Then after obtaining permission, the university blocked him from speaking. Why? Because some individuals complained about his speech. In other words, the university gave hecklers absolute veto power over the plaintiff’s religious speech, thereby violating his free exercise of religion and freedom of speech rights. This is outrageous.
Fortunately, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiff, a former student at Georgia Gwinnett College who was prevented from sharing his faith on campus in 2016, experienced a complete violation of his constitutional rights when the university enforced their discriminatory speech policies against him. This decision is quite important because Mr. Uzuegbunam can now seek damages for the violation of his constitutional rights, as he lost forever the chance to share his faith on campus with his peers. This decision affirms the rights of citizens to hold government officials accountable for the injuries they cause. This decision also underscores the fact that we live in a diverse society with diverse ideological views and that university officials have no right to cancel religious speech as if it is a toxic virus. Instead, redress is required.
Consistent with our past record of defending religious liberty against all opponents, both foreign and domestic, the ACLJ welcomes this decision by the United States Supreme Court, as we are redoubling our efforts to fight against capricious and arbitrary attempts to make religious colleges, schools, traditional families, and individuals second-class citizens.
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