Christian Legal Society v. Martínez

Religious Liberties Practice Group

Event Video

Listen & Download

The Federalist Society's Religious Liberties Practice Group, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the Cato Institute present a panel discussion on Christian Legal Society v. Martínez. In 2004, the Christian Legal Society filed suit against the University of California Hastings College of the Law after being denied recognition and the benefits of recognition, including student activity fee funding, because the chapter requires its officers and voting members to adhere to the CLS Statement of Faith.  In its lawsuit, CLS alleges that UC Hastings' exclusion of its chapter violates, among other constitutional rights, CLS' right of expressive association and CLS' right to be free from viewpoint discrimination.  The district court ruled in favor of defendants, and a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, in March 2009, affirmed the district court's opinion.  On December 7, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court granted CLS's petition for certiorari, and oral arguments in Christian Legal Society v. Martínez are scheduled for April 19, 2010.


  • Mr. Luke Goodrich, Deputy National Litigation Director, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
  • Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
  • Dr. Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies, and Director, Center for Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute
  • Mr. Paul M. Smith, Partner, Jenner & Block LLP
  • Moderator: Mr. William L. Saunders Jr., Senior Counsel, Americans United for Life
  • Introduction: Mr. Dean Reuter, Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society