‘We expected some controversy, but what we got was over-the-top even by Yale standards…’
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Yale Law School might have intended to punish Christian students when they made a policy change on stipends—and now they could be in hot water after the change in policy came to the attention of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
According to a press release from his office, Cruz sent a letter to the law school’s dean, Heather Gerken, demanding answers.
In particular, he wants to know why Christian law students are being discriminated against for working for organizations that share their beliefs.
ADF is a Christian legal organization that fights for First Amendment freedoms. Not surprisingly, the Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed it a “hate group” for taking socially conservative positions.
“Given that ADF has been smeared as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, we expected some controversy,” said law student Aaron Haviland, “but what we got was over-the-top even by Yale standards.”
Haviland said the law school’s LGBT group, the Outlaws, was the first to condemn the speech and call for a boycott of the event.
“Over the next 24 hours, almost every student group jumped onto the bandwagon and joined the boycott,” he said.
The LGBTQ group then sought to financially punish students who might oppose their agenda, requesting that Yale Law “clarify” its Summer Public Internship Program regarding organizations that “discriminate against members of its community.”
In response, Yale Law took the side of the Outlaws and said that students who worked for organizations that violated their “nondiscrimination” rules would not receive stipends.
In an email sent to students, Dean Gerken said: “We appreciate the leadership of Outlaws for raising the issue of applicability of our nondiscrimination policy to student employment opportunities funded by the Law School,” adding that the policy change would “reaffirm” their commitment to LGBTQ students and faculty.
Cruz, on the other hand, seems to think it’s more important to reaffirm the Constitution. He believes what Yale Law is doing to be both unconstitutional animus and a specific discriminatory intent against Christian organizations.
The Washington Examiner noted there are several actions that can be taken in investigating Yale Law’s new policy.
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary’s Constitution Subcommittee, Cruz could subpoena the dean or invite conservative students of Yale Law to testify.
Litigation is another option, and it’s even possible the Trump administration could get involved through the Office of Civil Rights.
“The First Amendment protects both free speech and the Free Exercise of religion. Yale’s new policy does neither,” Cruz wrote in the letter.
Cruz’s letter also served to remind Yale Law to keep records around on the policy change, including any communications that may have led to it—both for the investigation and just in case they get sued.
“Please retain all of the above material—whether written, printed, or electronically stored—in anticipation of the previously mentioned investigation or potential litigation until this hold notice is cancelled in writing,” Cruz concluded the letter.
“In the meantime, if Yale Law School decides to alter its position and cease discriminating against religious students and organizations, please let me know.”