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Supreme Court Upholds Religious Freedom for Jewish University

The US Supreme Court delivered a temporary victory to a Jewish university that was under attack by the alphabetic people.

Yeshiva University in Manhattan is the longest-running Jewish school in America. As with Catholic and other religious institutions, it accepts students of every denomination and awards degrees in a range of fields.

While welcoming, Yeshiva University expects all students to observe certain traditional Jewish traditions on campus, including following the rules regarding diet limitations and Shabbat.

As the former RedState writer Erick Ericksson is fond of declaring, “you will be made to care.” In 2020, a handful from Yeshiva graduates and students gathered to beat the leadership of Yeshiva University to submission. They demanded the university accept the status of a “Pride Alliance” club. This would permit the club to utilize university facilities grooming Recruitment and meetings. Meetings and recruitment. Yeshiva did not agree with a group that was dedicated to the opposite to Judaism (and Christianity), they filed a lawsuit. The reason for action used by the plaintiffs of LGBTQIA2S+ was that the New York “public accommodations” law required Yeshiva to allow whatever sexual practices they “club” came up with. Incredibly, they were not required to accommodate the LGBTQIA crowd. 

Yeshiva suffered defeat in the trial court when a judge concentrated on whether the institution was regarded as a religious institution in the sense of the New York City Human Rights Law which is a public accommodation law that prohibits discrimination due to sexual orientation. The law specifically excludes certain religious institutions as well as Yeshiva asserted that it falls under the exemption.

However, the court noted that in accordance with an amendment of the charter that was adopted in the year 1967, the school is now considered to be an “educational corporation.”

“Yeshiva's organizing documents do not expressly indicate that Yeshiva has a religious purpose,” Judge Lynn R. Kotler said in the ruling in the court that Yeshiva cannot be excluded from law.

Also, the court rejected Yeshiva's assertions that NYCHRL violates Yeshiva's First Amendment Rights holding that the law on public accommodations is a neutral law that is broadly applicable to any party.

“It does not target religious practice, its intent is to deter discrimination, only, and it applies equally to all places of public accommodation other than those expressly exempted as distinctly private or a religious corporation organized under the education or religious law,” Kotler wrote.

The judge ruled that the plaintiffs wanted “equal access” and that the university “need not make a statement endorsing a particular viewpoint.” Kotler added that some of Yeshiva's graduate programs accept LGBTQ groups, thereby eroding the university's argument.

Yeshiva is represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty which has a solid track record in respect to cases involving religious freedom. Recently, it was reported that the US Supreme Court imposed an indefinite stay of the trial court's decision.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, on Friday afternoon, granted at least temporarily the request of Yeshiva University to block a New York state court ruling that ordered the university to accept the officially-approved “Pride Alliance” student club. The school, which operates four campuses located in New York City, had claimed that complying to the state court's ruling would be in violation of its religious convictions.

Following when the New York appeals courts declined to suspend the trial court's ruling in the sand, Yeshiva came to the Supreme Court, calling the decision an “unprecedented intrusion into church autonomy.” The Supreme Court has long held that the university argued that religious institutions have broad freedom to organize their own organizations “’as they see fit’ ‘to assist in the expression and dissemination of any religious doctrine.'” The university pointed out that the deadline for clubs to request recognition will close on Sept. 12th, the university demanded that the justices respond promptly.

In her order, which was brief on Friday's afternoon, Justice Sotomayor failed to justify her decision to temporarily suspend the ruling of the state court trial in limbo. However, the conclusion of her decision, which indicates that there may be future action regarding the request of the university, suggests that the court might be seeking to make a decision at a minimum prior to September. 

To be honest, the trial judge's decision was driven by agendas and was in direct contradiction of common sense as well as constitutional rights under the First Amendment. It also is in stark contrast against the recent Supreme Court rulings of religious freedom regarding education. What she was thinking when she decided her ruling was valid is a mystery except for the fact that her intention was to open a door for an alphabet group to be registered and create Yeshiva the villain once it came to the Supreme Court getting around to hearing the case. This is, assuming that there was any chance that the New York State appellate courts were ever able to hear the case.

It is likely that Yeshiva will fail If Joe Biden gets two more Supreme Court nominees by the time the case is on into the Supreme Court.

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