Federal judge rules in favor of pro-life college students vs. California State University

During the 2016-2017 academic year, the Students for Life chapter at California State University (CSU)–San Marcos planned to have an event featuring a pro-life professor from North Carolina. When they requested $500 from the campus organization that distributes the funds from student fees, they were given the run-around. First they were denied funds on the basis that it was against the university’s policy to pay speakers. They were then told they would have to partner with two pro-homosexual student organizations to acquire the money. Those two organizations subsequently turned them down, so Students for Life filed a lawsuit.

Tuesday, August 13, US District Court Judge James Lorenz ruled in their favor over how the funds from student fees was doled out to campus organizations. Lorenz concluded that the process of distribution that CSU–San Marcos has in place was not neutral toward all organizations and left the possibility for funds to be distributed based on biases of the university leaders. The judge pointed out that requiring organizations to give details about their planned programs would “allow officials the discretion to pass judgment on the content, merit and potential impact of a program.” He explained in his ruling how that was blatant viewpoint discrimination and requiring Students for Life to partner with other student organizations whose views opposed theirs was also viewpoint discrimination. Therefore, the criteria for fund distribution were ruled unconstitutional. He then concluded with the suggestion that CSU–San Marcos create better guidelines for the sake of viewpoint neutrality.

For more on this case, read the source article at Courthouse News Service.

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