Qualified Immunity

No Qualified Immunity for University of Iowa Officials Who Violated Christian Students' First Amendment Rights

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit provides a useful reminder that qualified immunity is not just for police officers.

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In 2018, the University of Iowa deregistered the InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship. Although InterVarsity had been active on the Iowa campus for over twenty-five years, the University concluded that the group violated the university's anti-discrimination policies. Although membership in InterVarsity was open to all students, InterVarsity required those seeking leadership positions within the group to affirm the group's statement of faith, including "the basic biblical truths of Christianity."

In an effort to remain on campus, InterVarsity's then-leadership asked university officials whether a watered-down requirement would be acceptable. Specifically, they proposed changing the stated policy merely "request[ing]" or "strongly encourag[ing]" those who seek leadership positions to endorse the statement of faith. University officials rejected this proposed accommodation and proceeded to deregister the group.

ItnerVarsity sued the University for violating the free speech, free association, and free exercise rights of its members. Among other things, InterVarsity pointed out that the university had not been applying its nondiscrimination policy in a neutral or even-handed manner. Other student organizations were permitted to base membership and leadership policies on religious or other proscribed characteristics (including race and sex), but InterVarsity was not. The university even allowed another group to require members and leaders to sign a "gay-affirming statement of Christian faith," but InterVarsity could not merely request or encourage leaders to affirm its more conservative statement of faith.

As one might expect given the facts (as the Becket Fund's Daniel Blomberg notes here), things did not go so well for the University of Iowa. In an opinion last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit noted it was "hard-pressed to find a clearer example of viewpoint discrimination" than was presented here. It selectively applied and enforced its nondiscrimination policy against organizations with particular religious or other viewpoints, while simultaneously exempting whole categories of secular organizations, but not religious ones.

InterVarsity did not merely sue seeking renewed recognition as a student group. It also sought damages from university officials, prompting the defendants to claim qualified immunity. No dice, said the Eighth Circuit, noting that the First Amendment prohibition on viewpoint discrimination against student groups was clearly established by both Supreme Court and circuit precedent. Indeed, the court noted, InterVarsity was not the first student organization to successfully raise a viewpoint discrimination claim against the University of Iowa. Wrote Judge Kobes for the court: "If the law was clearly established when the University discriminated against [Business Leaders in Christ, it was clearly established when they did the same thing to InterVarsity."

From the opinion:

We acknowledge that the intersection of the First Amendment and antidiscrimination principles can present challenging questions. See, e.g., Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colo. Civil Rights Comm'n, 138 S. Ct. 1719, 1732 (2018) (noting that the conflict between Colorado's anti-discrimination law and a baker's First Amendment rights created "issues [] difficult to resolve"). "Qualified immunity gives government officials breathing room to make reasonable but mistaken judgments about open legal questions." Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 563 U.S. 731, 743 (2011). And, if applied properly, it protects "all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law." Id. (citation omitted).

But as Justice Thomas asked in Hoggard v. Rhodes, "why should university
officers, who have time to make calculated choices about enacting or enforcing unconstitutional policies, receive the same protection as a police officer who makes a split-second decision to use force in a dangerous setting?" __ S.Ct. __, *1 (2021) (Thomas, J., statement regarding denial of certiorari). What the University did here was clearly unconstitutional. It targeted religious groups for differential treatment under the Human Rights Policy—while carving out exemptions and ignoring other violative groups with missions they presumably supported. The University and individual defendants turned a blind eye to decades of First Amendment jurisprudence or they proceeded full speed ahead knowing they were violating the law. Either way, qualified immunity provides no safe haven.

Administrators at state universities should take note.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: August 2, 1923

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  1. Why should people who have time to consider their decisions ever have had QI? Especially if they have counsel available to consult before issuing a decision? If ineffective counsel is argued, shouldn’t the counsel be liable for damages?

    1. Because at one point in the 1960s and 1970s, the Supreme Court was shifting Constitutional law in a major way. What was permitted yesterday was suddenly unconstitutional today. In that circumstance, QI was needed even for situations where you have plenty of time to consult counsel.

      Today, however, QI has been so radically transformed that unless you have a case directly on point, QI is going to let the person off. The answer, IMO, is not to abolish QI but to radically alter it.

      1. The answer is to vet the people you put in positions of authority more carefully, and filter out the would-be tyrants BEFORE you give them a taste of power.

        1. Not that easy to pick beforehand. I’ve seen otherwise decent people mess up badly when given authority, then panic and go into control freak mode. I’ve also seen the reverse, people who appeared to be sociopaths who turned responsible when they were put in charge of something they cared about.

          1. I didn’t say it was easy. I said it was the best approach.

      2. ” What was permitted yesterday was suddenly unconstitutional today. In that circumstance, QI was needed even for situations where you have plenty of time to consult counsel.”

        Yet the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights routinely does the same thing today, with IHEs responsible for instantly complying with the latest OCR ruling.

        On the other hand, it is the institution and not the individual administrator who is liable — but then aren’t public employees indemnified anyway?

      3. Wouldn’t the be ex post facto jeopardy then?

    2. Why should people who have time to consider their decisions ever have had QI?

      This strikes me as an excellent question.

    3. U of Iowa has a new President. She should immediately adopt the Chicago Principles or the Iowa version. She should end all diversity programs.

      I have great fondness of Iowa, and owe them much. I would be willing to go after its tax exempt status to end its slide into dirty Commie PC.

      1. You support attacking the tax exempt status of the state of Iowa? Good luck with that.

    4. If there is a truly novel case, qualified immunity is reasonable. For example, when drones first came into cheap and common use, there was a question about what was allowed to be used without a warrant. Looking over a fence? Looking through windows? There was a similar question with using infrared cameras to detect hidden greenhouses.

      In these cases, qualified immunity allows the cops to use a new technique that might skirt the edge, and if the courts later rule that it’s crossed the line, then while it’s thrown out as evidence, they aren’t punished personally.

      The problem isn’t the idea. It’s actually necessary. The problem is how broadly and somewhat absurdly been interpreted.

  2. “We acknowledge that the intersection of the First Amendment and antidiscrimination principles can present challenging questions”

    No, they don’t.

    Whenever there’s a conflict between the First Amendment and “antidiscrimination principles”, the First Amendment wins.

    Note: The significance of PruneYard is that SCOTUS ruled that companies do not have a First Amendment right not to host speech they oppose on their property.

    Which is why social media companies do not have a First Amendment right to ban speakers they disagree with, any more than the PruneYard did

    1. Amendment XIV
      Section 1.

      All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

      The First Amendment is one of those “privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States”. So there’s nothing in the 14th Amendment that could possibly give you the right to take away my First Amendment protections

      1. And, remember, that’s “no state”; The only constitutional prohibition on discrimination, is a prohibition of STATE discrimination. Not private.

        1. There never was a constitutional restriction on state power to prohibit private discrimination.

          1. Didn’t say there was. But since there’s no constitutional command to prohibit private discrimination, but there are constitutional commands to respect rights such as free speech, free exercise, and so forth, prohibiting discrimination can never properly be a basis for violating any of those rights.

            1. Brett, why does the government’s prohibition on limiting speech prohibit me from limiting speech?

              1. That’s a strange question, in this context: Unless you’re a government actor, or limiting speech by criminal actions, it doesn’t.

                But the University of Iowa absolutely IS a government actor.

                1. “in this context”??? Ms. Greg launched off this particular thread by asserting “Whenever there’s a conflict between the First Amendment and ‘antidiscrimination principles’, the First Amendment wins.”

                  I’m not a government actor, but I DO have ‘antidiscrimination principles’, and I’m still waiting for an explanation of how those principles conflict with the Constitution (any part, no need to be limited to just the 1A)?

                  1. Wank off on your “antidiscrimination principles” to your heart’s content. (Let me guess: discrimination against people you disagree with is perfectly ok, right?)

                    But when you try to force me to take business that I don’t want, just because you want me to take it, you are violating my right to control my own life and actions.

                    You might even say you’re forcing me into “involuntary servitude”.

                    To the extent that you’re attempting to force people to violate their religious beliefs (theirs, not yours), you’re clearly assaulting the religious freedom guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

                    So take your fake “anti-discrimination” “principles” (oh, let me guess, you’re perfectly fine with “affirmative action” programs that lead to discrimination against whites, Asians, and males), and FOAD

                    1. “Wank off on your “antidiscrimination principles” to your heart’s content. (Let me guess: discrimination against people you disagree with is perfectly ok, right?)”

                      At this point, I’m prepared to discriminate against people who fantasize about watching other people wank off.

                      “But when you try to force me to take business that I don’t want, just because you want me to take it, you are violating my right to control my own life and actions.”

                      Approximate times I’ve tried to force you to do anything: 0. And I’d prefer to spend the rest of my life far enough away from you and your mammoth stupidity to be incapable of forcing you do do anything. This is the plan I intend to stay with. So sorry that this does not match with your ranting, you colossal idiot.

                      “To the extent that you’re attempting to force people to violate their religious beliefs (theirs, not yours), you’re clearly assaulting the religious freedom guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.”

                      So, not at all? Which was the point you’re arguing. Because, again, you are a colossal idiot.

            2. Sure, if you ignore all the civil rights cases, and Employment Division v. Smith, and heck, even Boy Scouts of America v. Dale.

              And, you know, the history of liberty in the civil rights era, when freedom of association and states rights were adhered do with great formality, and a restrictive horrorshow was the result.

              You can come in hot with how you think the text goes, but your ought-land is idiosyncratic, and has little to do with is-land.

              1. “Sure, if you ignore all the civil rights cases, and Employment Division v. Smith, and heck, even Boy Scouts of America v. Dale.”

                ?? Which case says that prohibiting discrimination can be a basis for violating the first amendment?

                “And, you know, the history of liberty in the civil rights era, when freedom of association and states rights were adhered do with great formality,”

                Freedom of association was not adhered to with great formality in state with Jim Crow laws. That was largely the problem.

                1. They all burden freedom of association, by definition, dude.

                  Jim Crow Laws were not all of the problem. Which we go over every single time civil rights laws come up.

                  1. Government segregation is a big part of the problem.

                    You know, like “no whites allowed multicultural centers” at State Universities.

                    Like “Minorities only” graduation ceremonies, dorms, scholarships, grants, events, etc.

                    Tell us, why is it that you pretend to dislike racial discrimination, when that discrimination is the core of your Party’s beliefs?

                    1. Sounds like it’s a BIG problem at these universities you’ve imagined. When was the last time you visited on in real life? Hint: That’s what all the buildings around the football stadium are there for.

                    2. Hey James,

                      This search took 5 seconds:

                      https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/06/chapman-university-to-host-racially-segregated-cultural-graduation-celebrations/

                      You can find dozens more, Mr “I’m a racist pig who loves defining people by the color of their skin, not the content of their character”

                    3. Your answer to “when was that last time you were visited a campus in real life” is “I used Google”?

                      This is why you keep getting mocked.

                      That, and your inability to read.

                      “According to the Cross-Cultural Center’s Instagram page, the celebrations are done in addition to the Chapman University main commencement ceremony.”

                  2. The Jim Crow laws were the only part of the problem that wasn’t also somebody else’s freedom.

              2. Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be having fun.

                Leftism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be enjoying their freedoms in ways the Left doesn’t like

                1. Gregism: A blissful inability to sense reality.

          2. “There never was a constitutional restriction on state power to prohibit private discrimination.”

            Of course there is, and you’re not stupid enough to actually believe otherwise.

            Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion, and Association ALL assume the right to control your own actions, and make your own decisions. The idea that the government can force you to do something in private business that you don’t want to, and never contracted to, do, is:

            1: Insane
            2: A modern invention

            You can kiss goodbye Roe, Obergefell, Lawrence v Texas, and most other left wing Supreme Court decision of the last 60 years, or you can give up your desire that the States can trample our rights while pushing your politics

            Pick one

            1. I think the choice I’ll stick with is considering your ranting to be the deranged musings of a damaged mind.

            2. ” The idea that the government can force you to do something in private business that you don’t want to, and never contracted to, do, is:

              1: Insane
              2: A modern invention”

              From this claim you’ve made, we can tell that you’re pro-choice, because the notion that a person can be forced to do something she doesn’ t want to do, and hasn’t contracted to do, like carry a fetus to term, is insane.

              1. Bzzt. If she was raped, then by all means she should be able to have an abortion

                If she chose to have sex, chose to risk the creation of a baby, then when that risk comes through, no, she doesn’t have the right to murder the baby because he or she is inconvenient to her.

                Just like the situation that when she doesn’t chose to have an abortion, the man who had sex with her and created the baby with her is stuck with child support payments for the next 18 years.

                Even if he used the condom she gave him (that had pin holes in it), or if she lied and told him she was on the pill / tubes tied / whatever.

                You’re rather amazing, James. if people chose “no”, you wish to force them anyway, but if they chose “yes”, then you wish to free them.

                What’s it like being total scum?

                1. “What’s it like being total scum?”

                  It’s terrible. You have to go around in public telling people your name is “Greg”

    2. Though as EV explained, not having a 1st Amendment right to ban speakers you disagree with, doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to ban speakers you don’t agree with. It’s just that your right is of the same standing as your right to scratch your backside – the Constitution does not protect it against possible legislative action.

      1. That’s true.

        But it also means that, just like as with the PruneYard, any State government can force you not to do so

    3. So prosecuting the 9/11 hijackers, had any of them lived and been brought to trial, would have been unconstitutional since laws against murder and terrorism are merely statutory whereas practicing your religion — which the hijackers very clearly were doing — is in the First Amendment?

      The problem is that other people have rights too, and so long as there are rights in conflict, lines will need to be drawn. Even if one set of rights is constitutional and the other is merely statutory. You can’t just say “First Amendment” and wipe out the interests of other people that are being infringed by someone’s religious practice.

      Suppose a Jehovah’s Witness knocks at my door, I ask him to leave, and he persists. Trespassing is statutory; free exercise is in the Constitution, so would you really claim that the First Amendment trumps the trespassing statute and I have no recourse? Just spend a few minutes actually thinking through where your absolutism would take us.

      1. So prosecuting the 9/11 hijackers, had any of them lived and been brought to trial, would have been unconstitutional since laws against murder and terrorism are merely statutory whereas practicing your religion — which the hijackers very clearly were doing — is in the First Amendment?

        Lord, this is exactly the type of twisted reasoning that makes people question the law profession. Where on God’s green earth did the 9/11 hijackers’ constitutional rights get violated? And did the U of Iowa college students put as part of their requirements to kill non-believers? The comparison here is so laughable as to be blindingly stupid.

        1. Only because you apparently didn’t follow it. The question is whether the First Amendment right to practice one’s religion always (or nearly always) trumps the rights of other people which are merely statutory. That’s the question.

          If the answer is yes, then the 9/11 hijackers should have been immune from prosecution.

          1. K_2,
            don’t be disingenuous in your objection.
            You know full well that SCOTUS has upheld limitation on speech rights such as but not restricted to when it implies immanent physical harm to others. You also know that SCOTUS has refuse to hold that “prohibiting the free exercise thereof [religion]” is limitless.
            That a claim of religious freedom, in what was very clearly premeditated murder as an act of war against the US, trumps laws forbidding murder, terrorism, arson, etc. is just preposterous.

            1. Don, agreed, but that’s not the issue. The original comment, by Greg, to which I was responding, is that because religious freedom is in the First Amendment, it trumps statutes. Which is sometimes true, sometimes not.

              1. It trumps statutes where the statutes themselves are not protecting an actual constitutional right, such as the right to life.

                If there’s a constitutional right on one side, and ONLY one side, that right should always prevail. That’s what it means to be the highest law of the land.

                I’m not saying that’s how the courts typically rule, of course. Since federal judges are selected by federal office holders, they tend to be very receptive to excuses for violating the constitution where said office holders claim to have a good reason.

                1. By this logic the Amendment is a Get out of Jail Free card for just about anything if you just claim that it’s part of your religion.

                2. “If there’s a constitutional right on one side, and ONLY one side, that right should always prevail.”

                  It helps if you know what rights the Constitution actually provides. For example, the free speech rights the Constitution provides absolutely DO NOT protect your right to tell your boss to fuck off. You can still be fired for that, without violating any of your Constitutional rights.

                  1. Well, duh. My boss isn’t the government, and neither is my employer. This seems somewhat beside the point in the case of a state university violating 1st amendment rights.

                  2. For example, the free speech rights the Constitution provides absolutely DO NOT protect your right to tell your boss to fuck off.

                    Nice job countering an argument that absolutely nobody came within a country mile of making.

                    1. Isn’t that what you just did?

                3. Now hold on there Brett. The Constitution only protects against action by the government. If the State of South Carolina decided to repeal its murder statute, there would be nothing in the Constitution that would protect you from me sending a hit man to take you out. So we are still left with your right to not be murdered by a private actor (like the 9/11 hijackers) is purely statutory. Your constitutional rights have nothing to do with it. So, it is still an open and shut case of constitutional rights trumping statutory rights. Which, sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.

                  1. Your argument is internally contradictory.

                    The Constitution mostly protects against action by government. There are a couple exceptions. Slavery, and selective inaction, equal protection violations. But, mostly.

                    So, yes, a state could simply repeal all its laws against murder, leaving everybody free to kill murderers or attempted murderers without involving the government.

                    But this isn’t to say that my right not to be murdered is statutory. It’s to say that my right to be protected from murder or avenged by the state is statutory, which is not the same thing.

                    The state doesn’t have to protect, or vindicate rights, but doing so at least provides a colorable excuse for infringing other rights, because you can point to the conflict, something has to give.

                    When it’s an explicit right vs just somebody’s preference, that excuse is absent.

                    But, I’m not ignorant, I do realize that the courts are perfectly willing to permit constitutional rights to be violated just on the basis of non-constitutional governmental goals, and do so all the time. As I say, what do you expect, when it’s the office holders doing the violation who pick the judges?

                    1. You’re confusing legalities with practicalities. You’re absolutely right that the resulting blood feuds that would inevitably result are one reason out of many why repealing murder statutes is a really bad idea. You’re also right that practical consequences are often more of a deterrent than anything the state can do.

                      But none of that has anything to do with the legal question of whether your right not to be killed by a private individual is protected by the Constitution. It isn’t. It’s purely statutory. So if the question is whether the Constitution always trumps a statute, the answer is no.

                    2. My right not to be killed by an individual is, literally, one of the purposes for which governments are instituted among men.

                      This doesn’t create a legal obligation on the part of government to defend it.

                      But it does create a legal excuse on the part of government to do things it otherwise could not for purposes less central to the basis of government.

                    3. “But this isn’t to say that my right not to be murdered is statutory.”

                      Are you expecting this argument to be taken seriously?

                    4. “My right not to be killed by an individual is, literally, one of the purposes for which governments are instituted among men.”

                      Ego much?
                      Not everything is about you.

                  2. “If the State of South Carolina decided to repeal its murder statute”

                    Oh, you mean like when SCOTUS decided to force every State to allow women to kill their babies?

                    We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have the 10th Amendment, which says that our rights aren’t limited to what’s written in the US Constitution.

                    And if you send a hit man after someone because murder’s no longer against the law, you have to worry that the person will kill the hit man, and then you. Or else his friends will

                    That was, after all, the normal state of affairs for all but maybe the last 200 – 300 years

                    1. “Oh, you mean like when SCOTUS decided to force every State to allow women to kill their babies?”

                      Oh, you mean something that happened in your imagination? Approximately 0/50 states allow infanticide.

            2. Let’s take a milder version of K_2’s example.

              Suppose some religion requires loud outdoor services, at midnight, at its church, which is in a residential neighborhood.

              OK or not?

              1. Not so clear.
                But nothing in 1A prevents tort action by neighborhood residents against the “church” or church leaders in question

                1. At present, wouldn’t Employment Division vs. Smith apply?

                  I think most people would much prefer to be able to call the cops, rather than filing a lawsuit with all the attendant issues.

                  But if the 1A trumps a reasonable anti-noise ordinance then I guess that’s the only choice.

                2. “But nothing in 1A prevents tort action by neighborhood residents against the ‘church’ or church leaders in question”

                  The fact that having loud church practices isn’t a tort means that these tort actions you’re recommending will be a waste of time and money.

                  Hint: The phrase you want to Google is “time, place, and manner”

              2. “Suppose some religion requires loud outdoor services, at midnight, at its church, which is in a residential neighborhood.”

                This is what the 2A is for!

              3. That’s you forcing your “speech” on me. Which is not your right, and is a violation of mine.

                And, WRT the discussion of “anti-discrimination” legislation, the ones passing that legislation are the church, and the people you’re trying to bully into doing things your way are the neighbors being bombarded by the loud noise after midnight.

                1. You missed the point and decide to try twisting the hypothetical into something you preferred.

                  Lame.

        2. “Where on God’s green earth did the 9/11 hijackers’ constitutional rights get violated?”

          If you prosecute them for attempting (but failing) to achieve glorious martyrdom, that’s when. They successfully achieved their own death penalty, thus depriving the Bush administration of convenient targets. No problem, Saddam is close enough.

      2. “The problem is that other people have rights too, and so long as there are rights in conflict, lines will need to be drawn.”

        Yep.

        “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”

        “Your ‘right’ to get served by my business ends where my ability to decide how I will spend my time and effort begins.”

        No person has a right to my time, business, or effort, other than after I’ve freely and of my own volition entered into a contract with them.

        no one has a right to demand that I contract with them.

        To presuppose such a right is to make me the slave of the person who rules over my actions

        1. “No person has a right to my time, business, or effort, other than after I’ve freely and of my own volition entered into a contract with them.”

          And not even then, if they happen to be gay at the time.

          1. Bzzt. Are you really that stupid, or just horribly dishonest?

            If I set up a wedding cake business, and say “I won’t cater same sex ‘weddings'”, then unless you come to me under false premises (and fraud is, after all, legitimate grounds for cancelling a contract) I’m not going to make a contract with you to cater your “wedding”.

            And since I haven’t agreed to take your business, there’s no contract.

            Which part of that don’t you “understand”?

            1. “Are you really that stupid, or just horribly dishonest?”

              I have to admit you vastly exceed me in both qualities.

              “And since I haven’t agreed to take your business, there’s no contract.”

              I didn’t offer you a contract, so there’s no contract. You have no ability to offer any service I need. You’re incapable.
              Nice try walking back your earlier statement that you wouldn’t honor a contract.

    4. “Whenever there’s a conflict between the First Amendment and “antidiscrimination principles”, the First Amendment wins.”

      Unless it doesn’t. The 1A limits what Congress may do. It says nothing whatsoever about anyone who is not Congress may do.

      1. The 1A limits what Congress may do. It says nothing whatsoever about anyone who is not Congress may do.

        You seem to have missed that “Whenever there’s a conflict” part of the text you quoted.

        1. Uh, no. YOU seem to have missed that.

      2. Ah, so you’re claiming that Roe, Lawrence v Texas, and Obergefell were all wrongly decided?

        Because if the First Amendment does not apply to every single government subdivision in the US, neither do any of those decisions

        1. How do you function, with no working brain?

        2. “Ah, so you’re claiming that Roe, Lawrence v Texas, and Obergefell were all wrongly decided?”

          Ah, so you’re claiming that gay people have a right to enter your home, hold a marriage ceremony for you and one of their number, and then each take turns molesting your delicate sensibilities?

          1. “How do you function, with no working brain?”

            It’s a question better asked of you, than of me

            1. Nuh-uh! YOU ARE! is the quality of comeback I’d expect to find on any elementary-school playground. Which school playground are you currently on? Better run along before they run you off.

  3. The 8th looks to be poor turf for trying this sort of thing on.

    It looks to have a 10-1 majority for Republican appointed judges, plus 7 Seniors, all Republican appointed.

    Chances of drawing a left leaning panel ? Absent designations, zero.

    1. Check the Eighth Circuit states — Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota — against “states ranked by educational achievement.”

      Then consider ‘how many first-tier teaching and research institutions are located in those seven states? and ‘how many modern, successful cities are located in the Eighth Circuit?’

      Against that background, a Republican-dominated bench might be inevitable.

      1. Yup, because the first amendment’s protection of religious liberties and freedom of speech is a sign of low “educational achievement”.

        This is even more idiotic than your usual prose. You may want to quit while you think you’re ahead.

        1. Two of those Eighth Circuit panelists were rated ‘unqualified.’

          You are flailing on behalf of the shambling and vanquished.

          1. “Two of those Eighth Circuit panelists were rated ‘unqualified.’”

            By who?

            1. Perhaps by an organization who has also not been covering itself in glory with respect to free speech lately?

            2. Lack of an arbitrary number of years as a lawyer gets you ‘unqualified’ regardless of merit.

              Joseph Story would have been ‘unqualified’ under their criteria.

              1. Being unqualified gets you “unqualified”, regardless of years of service.

              2. Story is little bit too dead to be rated as “qualified”, wouldn’t you say?

      2. Again Artie lies, pivots, and pirouettes into further bigotry.

        1. I used to think he was just crazy, no, he is just mean

          1. He’s actually a narcissist. It’s pretty easy to spot. Whenever they get caught in a lie, they get angry and blame the messenger, move the goal posts, and make stuff up. It’s better to think of Artie as a robot incapable of independent thought. He should be pitied.

            1. What lie? You forgot to provide a reference to one of those. Did he list the wrong states in the circuit?

          2. Just mute him. Your life will be better. He writes nothing worth reading.

            1. Watching guys like me continue to call the shots in America — shaping progress against the wishes and efforts of conservatives — seems to make some of you guys quite cranky.

            2. Every once in a long, long while, he says something interesting. I don’t know if it’s because he gets bored and drops out of character, but he does. Maybe a tenth of a percent of what he says is worthwhile.

              The rest is a useful reminder that the US does not lack for aspiring death camp guards.

              1. ” the US does not lack for aspiring death camp guards.”

                Not with you ready to take the job, and bring your own weapon.

  4. Anyone who has had dealings with planning boards, permitting offices, or zoning commissions can tell you that there is an abundance of arbitrary, crony rulings every day. None of these officials are easily brought to task and almost none are ever held to be personally responsible.
    Of course, there is no immediate abuse of physical force, so they don’t show up on YouTube.

  5. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit provides a useful reminder that qualified immunity is not just for police officers.

    Except that, based on the outcome of the case, it is. Then again, when the Global War on Christianity is involved that might have created difficulties for a police officer defendant as well.

    1. Except that, based on the outcome of the case, it is.

      Except that, in other cases, it isn’t.

  6. I’m quite sure the current lot of fascist oppressors on college campuses are going to wonder why they are in the dock answering for their deeds when the time comes….

    1. Jimmy, the fascists are all on YOUR side.

      But you knew that.

      1. Oh yeah I forgot it isn’t fascism when you oppress the “right” people….

        1. Fascists ARE the “right” people. When the leftists get all authoritarian, they turn into Communists. These words have actual meanings, and don’t just mean “people who piss you off”.

          1. Except fascism is left-wing

            1. It isn’t to people who know what they’re talking about.

          2. Uncontrolled or politically driven authoritarianism is ALWAYS left wing Just the modern left won’t own that is what they are up to when they do it.

            1. Left authoritarians and right authoritarians tend to converge, the more authoritarian they get, so that once you reach the depths of real, not figurative, fascism or communism, all that are left are meaningless stylistic differences.

              But I have noticed that the left seems more inclined to go as far as actual totalitarianism, while the right seems to settle for ‘mere’ authoritarianism. You’d be hard put to find any genuinely totalitarian right-wing regime since Nazi Germany, while totalitarian left-wing regimes are horribly common, and uniformly genocidal.

              Apparently the right is content to be obeyed on a relatively limited list of topics, while the left wants all of you…

              1. “You’d be hard put to find any genuinely totalitarian right-wing regime since Nazi Germany,”

                They got beat, and you stopped paying attention. Plus you have those partisan blinders on.

                Hints: Idi Amin, the House of Saud. Is it your contention that these were left-wingers, or that they ran/run open, free societies?

                1. Idi Amin was pretty left-wing. Nationalizing businesses. Granting landing rights to PLO hijackers. Ethnic cleansing. That sort of thing.

                  But he was mostly a megalomaniac. He did not engage in politics, per se, the process of group decision-making. He engaged in tyranny.

                  Same with the House of Saud. That is not a political entity; it is a tyranny.

                  1. “Idi Amin was pretty left-wing. Nationalizing businesses. Granting landing rights to PLO hijackers. Ethnic cleansing. That sort of thing.

                    But he was mostly a megalomaniac.”

                    You’ve convinced me. That’s enough evidence that Idi Amin was a right-winger. You forgot to mention that he took over the country from his job in the army.

            2. “Uncontrolled or politically driven authoritarianism is ALWAYS left wing”

              Funny how all the right-win authoritarians keep repeating this, as if repeating it will make it true somehow.

          3. James, actually the difference is who owns things.
            In Communism, the government owns and controls businesses outright. In Fascism, businesses are privately owned but are explicitly managed by the government.

            Biden’s and the Democrat’s manipulation of various companies through threats is actually much closer to fascism than communism.

            1. In communism, the government owns all the businesses. In Fascism, the businesses own the government.

              1. Let’s bring it closer to home. We have a fairly short supply of actual fascists OR communists. Differentiating OUR parties is a simple matter: In America, the Democrats want to take YOUR money away from YOU and give it to people who are poorer than you. The Republicans want to take YOUR money away from YOU and give it to people who are richer than you.

  7. Do you think they know they’re bigots? Or is it impossible for administrative officials to be introspective when they encounter people who are not like them?

    1. Most people — especially educated, modern, successful, well-adjusted people — would consider the superstitious gay-bashers to be the bigots in this type of context.

      Disaffected clingers likely see it differently.

      1. Ah since you couldn’t prove any gay bashing, your assumption is in of itself testament to your bigotry and hatred. It is poisoning you, Artie.

        1. The InterVarsity evangelicals are proud, unambigious, gay-bashing bigots, as anyone who knows anything about this is aware.

          You don’t know what you’re talking about, buckleup. That’s why your betters find it so easy to shove progress down your whimpering, bigoted, ignorant throat.

    2. It probably will not surprise you, but the people that control language and definitions have constructed those in a manner where the only people who are bigots, racists, and intolerant are not them. So no, I don’t think these people think that they are bigots. They will look at their own definition of those terms for validation and support to this.

      1. Use enough funhouse mirrors to redefine everything and they’re still heroes, huh? They must be extremely surprised that the courts don’t see them that way.

        1. You can see the rationalization in the comment thread. It isn’t that they are “surprised” it is more they don’t understand. AK and his minions are using the justification that of course these rubes don’t get it because they are Trump appointees that a left wing authority called “unqualified” so obviously they are such. It hardly matters if they reached the legally objective correct conclusion. These stupid right wingers don’t understand the true political program so thus must be marginalized regardless.

          1. “It hardly matters if they reached the legally objective correct conclusion.”

            Had they done so, you’d still be squealing about it.

      2. “the people that control language and definitions have constructed those in a manner where the only people who are bigots, racists, and intolerant are not them.”

        You forgot to go full irony, and insist that you are not an intolerant bigoted racist

  8. Will a science- or reason-based club (Biology Club, Debate Club, Rocketry Club, engineering or dental fraternity, Chemical Society) be entitled to limit officer positions to candidates who prefer reason to the point of not being superstitious?

    (Not every panel will be composed of a Nixon aide and two Trump nominees rated ‘unqualified.’)

    1. If you’d read the blog post, you’d already know that other groups were allowed to set standards for leadership and NOT be decertified for it. That was the whole point of the court case – the Christian group was being treated completely differently.

      As for ratings of “unqualified” – that’s a political moniker that almost never gets labeled on a prog judge. So pull the other one; this one’s sore.

    2. Newsflash….political operative refers to their opponents as “unqualified”, details at 11!

      Seeing there is nothing objective left any more in the realm of politics, you can call anyone anything and it doesn’t mean a thing.

      1. Newsflash… idiot defends unqualified agents as long as they do things they way he likes. No details at 11, you can guess the rest.

    3. Rated “unqualified” by the Kirkland Foundation for better Bigotry in government.

  9. InterVarsity was not the first student organization to successfully raise a viewpoint discrimination claim against the University of Iowa

    Short memory, obviously they should have already had a clue or at least checked their files.

  10. What, exactly, is the effect of being “deregistered” by the university? Does this step mean that members of the group are to be tased or beaten if found on campus? If there some kind of disavowal required of former members to remain students of the university?

    1. James…I think they lose out on funding. It always comes down to the money.

      1. It may also deny them access to university facilities.

        1. At the Cal State system (where InterVarsity was similarly “derecognized”) “Loss of recognition means we lose 3 things: free access to rooms (this will cost our chapters $13k-30k/year to reserve room). We also lose access to student activities programs, including the new student fairs where we meet most students. We also lose standing when we engage faculty, students and administrators.” https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/explainer-intervarsity-derecognized-at-california-state-university/. I assume the same is true at U of Iowa

          1. “we lose 3 things: free access to rooms (this will cost our chapters $13k-30k/year to reserve room”

            Can the individual members still reserve rooms?

            ” We also lose access to student activities programs, including the new student fairs where we meet most students.”

            If you can’t meet students by just walking around on campus… you must be VERY inobservant.

            Neither of the “3” things you listed seems like that big a problem, to be honest.

            1. You’ve never helped run a student organization, have you?

              1. That your assessment? I assume you plan to use it instead of reality.

                1. Having helped run student groups, I’m with Brett (which isn’t always the case have to say). Free rooms on campus are a big deal to student groups, as are fairs. Also the ability to poster dorms and such (which maybe the university would also deny in its “wisdom”). And funding for food and sundries, for which the students are probably paying an activities fee.

                  I’m not very into religious groups, and think banning gays from leadership positions is probably silly. I suspect from the point of view of the religions in question all the participants are “sinners”, why are gays so special? But I’m also good with letting people associate as they like, and would let them do as they like in this regard.

                  1. Letting people associate as they see fit is fine. Let them pay for it themselves, is my point.

                    If the problem here IS money, specifically money that comes from all students, then the group should be open to any student who wants to join, and if the group prefers not to let people in they’d rather keep out (the way the Greek system does), then student fees should also not be joining the exclusive group.
                    My most recent bout with academia was law school, and there, any student could reserve a room that hadn’t already been reserved… groups weren’t “recognized” by the school (or not) for this purpose. Among other things, this let students reserve rooms to try to recruit people to their groups.

                    1. The whole issue here is that the school was letting some groups pick and choose criteria for membership/leadership and not other other groups choose. And being a public school, that didn’t pass muster. Sounds right to me.

                    2. “The whole issue here is that the school was letting some groups pick and choose criteria for membership/leadership”

                      All groups get to pick and choose criteria for membership/leadership. But if they’re telling some of the people who are paying the group’s expenses, “we’ll take your money, but not YOU”, then the people paying the money have a good reason to not pay the money. I would assume the next step would be for some individual student to point to a student group that won’t let them join, and sue as a class action to be relieved of paying the student-group fee., thus shutting down the money spigot for all the groups.
                      Just because this one group was SO sure that the gay people were rushing to join their group and run for leadership roles, so they had to stop that from “go”.

            2. to be honest

              Pffffffft.

              1. Thank you for your deeply-considered, helpful contribution.

                It truly reflected your capability.

      2. “I think they lose out on funding.”

        Funding from whom? Whose money are they missing out on?

        Back in ye olden tymes, when I was an undergraduate student at a state university, the university collected a student activity fee from the students who signed up for classes, and an athletics fee, also. The athletics fees paid for all the intercollegiate sports, and the club sports, and the activities fees provided for various clubs. If that’s the funding you’re talking about, then why should the club be entitled to such funds, if the club isn’t open to all students?

        1. Then why should any of the other clubs who already received exemptions be entitled to it? Yes, the school could set an absolute policy that any club that wasn’t open to every student who wanted to join is not allowed. But they didn’t. They gave exemptions left and right and only denied it to religious organizations. That’s the problem. It’s not that they COULD have come up with a way to do it properly. They DIDN’T.

          1. It was worse than that. ” The university even allowed another group to require members and leaders to sign a “gay-affirming statement of Christian faith,””

            They actually handed out a perfectly parallel exception to another organization, allowing them to demand adherence to the opposite theological position!

            A more crystal clear example of religious viewpoint discrimination could not be constructed, even if you were creating a hypothetical case for an exam.

            1. “It was worse than that. ‘ The university even allowed another group to require members and leaders to sign a “gay-affirming statement of Christian faith,”'”

              Here’s a “gay-affirming statement of Ghristian faith”:

              God, in His infinite wisdom, made the gay people, too.

          2. “Then why should any of the other clubs who already received exemptions be entitled to it?”

            Good question. I imagine it would depend on WHY they got exemptions, if they actually did.

            1. Clearly goodthink vs badthink, no?

              1. If you’ve already made up your mind, then it’s what you already decided, I guess.

    2. Its been a few years but…. de-registered means you’re no longer an official student group. You lose out on funding (paid for by the student activity fee), the ability to schedule rooms, access to official recruiting events, advertising on university boards, and more.

      Imagine a group not being able to do something as basic as scheduling a weekly meeting room. That’s the start of what de-registered means.

      1. It sometimes even goes further than that — even meeting informally can constitute a violation of university rules for which one can be expelled.

        1. Sure. Universities have been expelling the Christians ever since Galileo got excommunicated.

      2. ” de-registered means you’re no longer an official student group. You lose out on funding”

        You mean they might have to pay their own way? Get by on their own money instead of extracting it from students who aren’t welcome to join or become leaders of the group? Boo-hoo.

        “Imagine a group not being able to do something as basic as scheduling a weekly meeting room.”

        Maybe they could agree to meet every week in a room provided by a local church, which would presumably be more welcoming, and not complain at all that people in their meeting room were required to profess Christianity.

        1. By the same token, the Democratic Socialists of America chapter can meet every week at a sympathetic professor’s house without having to use university facilities.

          Although I suppose the DSA could get access to university facilities if it allowed its officers to believe in capitalism and libertarianism.

        2. You mean they might have to pay their own way? Get by on their own money instead of extracting it from students who aren’t welcome to join or become leaders of the group? Boo-hoo.

          Come back with that pathetic argument when the same happens to a group that discriminates based on race, sexual orientation, etc.

          1. You mean, when an organization composed largely of gay people come out with a manifesto demanding that straight people need to get “converted”.

      3. “Its been a few years but…. de-registered means you’re no longer an official student group.”

        Oh noes! not official? That threatens the very existence of the faith.

  11. In my view, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez was wrong and shod be reversed. Stufent religious groups should be treated like churches, with power to determine their members, leaders, and doctrines.

    Even if the University had enforced its rules even-handedly, telling a student religious group what doctrines it is and isn’t permitted to espouse represents as blatant and as direct an establishment of religion as can be imagined. And that’s exactly what happened here.

    This is and ouught to be treated as an Establishment Clause case and decided under Establishment Clause principles. Treating this as a Free Exercise or viewpoint discrimination Free Speech case doesn’t address the most blatant and obvious constitutional violation involved.

    Religious groups are different from other groups. They discriminate by their nature. To espouse a religious position is necessarily to say that other positions are lesser or wrong. Any attempt to apply discrimination laws to such an enterprise inevitably establishes churches in doctrinal conformity with the state and disestablishes nonconformists.

    1. “Stufent religious groups should be treated like churches, with power to determine their members, leaders, and doctrines.”

      Two different things at work:
      What they’re allowed to do, and what they’re allowed to do with other people’s money in the university’s buildings. The university should have no say in the first, but in the second…

      1. In my view a state ought to have two choices. Either it funds religious groups, in which case it must do so without making any doctrinal semands, or it does not fund religious groups, in which case it foesn’t fund any, again without regard to doctrine.

        What I think it shouldn’t be allowed to do is fund conformist religious groups – ones whose doctrines meet its conditions – but not fund non-comformist groups.

        As I see it, the current crop of Supreme Court cases risks significant tension between the concept of discrimination against religion (states must fund religion because doing so would be discrimination) and concerns about states using funding to coerce religions to make conformist doctrinal changes.

        As I see it, the second principal is more important than the first. For this reason, I think that Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which permitted universities to condition funding of religious student groups on complying with non-discrimination rules (including the oxymoron of not discriminating on the basis of religion) was wrongly decided.

        I would rather that universities not fund any student religious groups than fund only conformist ones. I am, in general, more worries about establishment than I am about discrimination – and not establishment conforming state policies to religious doctrines, the usual concern on the left, but establishment conforming religious doctrines to state policies.

        1. the current crop of Supreme Court cases risks significant tension between the concept of discrimination against religion (states must fund religion because doing so would be discrimination) and concerns about states using funding to coerce religions to make conformist doctrinal changes.

          I’m only concerned about states targeting religion to conform, and current doctrine does not permit it. The fact that religious organizations may be disparately impacted is a tension that does not bother me.

          1. That’s exactly what the University of Iowa did here.

            1. I agree. But, that wasn’t caused by SCOTUS precedent.

              1. Well, SCOTUS said both that public universities must recognize/fund student religious groups, and that they can subject them to discrimination rules.

                In this case the winning argument was that the University of Iowa didn’t enforce its discrimination rules even-handedly. But what if it had? What if it hadn’t exempted anyone? You would have had exactly the same issue of a state institution demanding that a religious group alter its statement of faith into something acceptable to the state as a condition of state funding, and the University would have won because as long as this could be demanded of all groups it could also be demanded of religious groups.

                That’s why I see the primary problem as Establishment in nature, the demand itself, independently of whether others got exempted or not.

                I don’t think public universities should be able to subject religious groups to discrimination laws. If the state doesn’t want to fund nonconforming groups, it should have the option of either swallowing it, or not funding any religious groups.

                1. What if it hadn’t exempted anyone?

                  Then, there would have been a disparate impact that affected this religious group. As I said, that doesn’t bother me.

                  That’s why I see the primary problem as Establishment in nature […] I don’t think public universities should be able to subject religious groups to discrimination laws.

                  Do you think the Establishment Clause exempts religious groups from all anti-discrimination laws?

                  1. Meh. My deeply and sincerely belief says that to reach God, I have to have sex with as many drunken college girls as possible. Those alcohol prohibitions on campus are disparately impacting my religious principles.

        2. ” Either it funds religious groups, in which case it must do so without making any doctrinal semands,”

          So they can’t tell the Aztec Club to stop sacrificing fratboys at dawn with obsidian knives? Even if they clean up all the blood afterwards?

        3. “In my view a state ought to have two choices. Either it funds religious groups, in which case it must do so without making any doctrinal semands, or it does not fund religious groups, in which case it foesn’t fund any, again without regard to doctrine.”

          In my view, a state ought to have two choices.. Either it gives money to me, or it gives money to things I approve of. As to religion, a state has no business making laws that target a specific religion (say, banning the sale of bacon cheeseburgers because Jews and Muslims aren’t supposed to eat the cloven-hoofed kind of yummy meats (in one direction) or imposing a fine for not having a working telephone in one’s home (going the other way. How can we get emergency help to the Amish if they can’t call 911?)
          On the other hand, since one can have sincerely held religious beliefs on any subject, and slightly-less-sincerely-held religious beliefs also exist, and the two can be very hard to tell apart, no, I don’t think “my religion says…” should be an escape clause from any generally-applicable law. Historically, all the great social debates had people on both sides throwing Scriptural quotes at each other to support totally opposite sides of the debate. Even such a simple rule as “no murdering” will have people showing up to explain that the person they killed wasn’t murdered, because “hey, I thought she was a witch, what was I supposed to do, suffer her to live?”

    2. “Religious groups are different from other groups. They discriminate by their nature. ”

      Other groups would be more than happy to discriminate, if they could get away with it. This isn’t unique to religious groups.

  12. I’m amazed that so many people in academia are getting such bad legal advice. This case, having “PoC-only” and “whites only” faculty meetings, etc.

    Whatever they may think about the law, it is quite clear. And maybe it’s only when they start paying damages awards that the word will get out that before you implement whatever your trendy academic theory is, you check with the legal department.

    1. You might think so!

    2. “I’m amazed that so many people in academia are getting such bad legal advice.”

      1. Lawfare: The process is the punishment. Petty tyrants act the way they do because they expect the targets of their actions either to accept it without argument or will be frustrated and bankrupted by the process.

      2. Seeking better precedents: They do this deliberately to provoke test cases to produce rulings that they like.

      3. They don’t respect anyone or anything outside themselves: “It cannot possibly be illegal to do what I want to do. I am me.”

      1. “2. Seeking better precedents: They do this deliberately to provoke test cases to produce rulings that they like.”

        As opposed to the legislatures that want to outlaw abortions, but keep getting told they can’t. “well, maybe if we prohibit it THIS way, a court will let it stand…”

  13. “And maybe it’s only when they start paying damages awards…”

    They’re not going to pay damage awards. The only thing that will work is if somebody in the chain discipline and fire the folks that do things that might make schools liable.

    If nothing else, maybe legislatures can make people responsible for a judgement against the school ineligible to work in public universities again.

  14. “They’re not going to pay damage awards. ”

    Somebody missed the point of why denying qualified immunity is important…

    1. Somebody else isn’t aware that public employees are almost always indemnified from such awards.

      For example, from the Iowa Code § 669.22:

      “The state shall defend any employee, and shall indemnify and hold harmless an employee of the state in any action commenced in federal court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the employee for acts of the employee while acting in the scope of employment.”

      1. I guess they’ll have to try to crack that nut in the next lawsuit.

      2. “while acting in the scope of employment.”

        Very few public servant position descriptions include a requirement to violate First Amendment rights. So, the action is inherently not within the scope of employment.

  15. I encourage conservatives to consider, when arranging privileges in this regard, to recognize that our national demographic trajectory indicates the standards they establish today will be used by people with whom they disagree (and, largely, dislike conservatives and prefer reason to religion) during the foreseeable future.

    The rule that benefits certain superstition-based claims today likely will be enforced against those superstition-based claims in the future. In particular, they will be used to advance reason- and tolerance-based claims against bigots.

    1. Hmmmm superstition based claims..pretty much all the left wing “social science” clubs at most universities…..SJW’s are the worst sort of superstitious and nonsensical crap. But hey I’m with you get rid of all of them if you like..

      1. If you don’t like the club, why did you join?

  16. One of the issues I’m sure is the folks at UI who made this decision…there is a certain type of far left wing folks who seem to have taken over pretty much every college administration..not just talking about places like Tufts or Cornell where you expect this but midwestern and southern universities. I was shocked at a major top rated southern engineering focus school I attended 30 years ago, all the folks from NYC country as we called them who were dominate in the administration..far lefties who avoided the real world and took over academia…left overs..be interesting to see who at UI made this decision and their background.

  17. All the process talk seems needlessly confusing. Is the club doing the complaining a gay-bashing religious group? If so, is the argument that the state is not allowed to not-fund gay bashing, if the gay bashing is religious enough? Or is the argument that the state must fund gay bashing religious people, if it funds pro-gay groups? Why is religion entangled in this at all? Why not just have a rule: no state-funded gay bashing? Put it on the same basis as no state-funded lynching of blacks, and no state-funded Native American genocides. Keep religion out of it. You want state university financial support for your particular religious doctrines? Forget it. That’s what your charity exemptions are for.

    1. The reason is pretty straightforward, based on two Supreme Court decisions. One says that public universities must fund student religious groups. The other says that it can subject student religious groups to discrimination laws.

      The reason the student religious group won here is that the University of Iowa was rather free with exemptions for groups it considered right-thinking, so under current Free Exercise doctrine it also has to exempt this religious group.

      But I think both Supreme Court decisions were wrong. In my view, religius groups should be considered like churches and be allowed to select their members, leaders, and statements of faith as they see fit. And if a state isn’t comfortable with that, I think it should have the option of not funding any religious group.

      In my view, discrimination laws represent a form of establishment. I don’t think the state should be permitted to fund only religious groups that conform to the establishment, and defund non-conformist religious groups whose beliefs run counter to the establishment. And I also don’t think the state should be required to fund all religious groups. In my view, public universities should have the option of either funding all religious groups or not funding any, but should get no say in their beliefs or membership or leadership rules in either event.

      1. But I think that if the Establishment Clause means anything, it means that the state can’t fund only religious groups whose doctrines conform to established orthodoxy, and not groups whose doctrines don’t. It should only get the choice of funding all religious groups regardless of conformity, or none at all. Even religions that killed Jesus, outlaw homosexuality, worship idols, pick your horrible.

      2. But if you can fund secular groups, and not fund comparable religious groups, you can just push taxation so high that only the groups you fund can survive.

        For schools, substitute “student fees” for “taxation”.

        The power to tax is the power to destroy, and the power to tax, and selectively return the money, is the power to selectively destroy. It is functionally indistinguishable from the power to selectively take the money in the first place.

        1. The power to whine is the power to be Brett.

    2. “Why not just have a rule: no state-funded gay bashing? Put it on the same basis as no state-funded lynching of blacks, and no state-funded Native American genocides. ”

      They do have a rule that says no state-funding of groups that aren’t open to all of the students who fund student groups, and it got shot down.

  18. Let’s get rid of this “qualified immunity” rubbish once and for all.

    1. There is actually a downside to ditching “qualified immunity”. People who have been imprisoned for crimes have plenty of time to write and file lawsuits, and tend to harbor resentments for the state and federal officials who worked to get them convicted. Allowing them ufettered rein to file as many suits naming as many officials as they can probably would create a strain on the court system which is already somewhat thin on time and resources.

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