Michael Paulsen–The Most Important Religious Liberty Case of the Past Thirty Years

Thirty years ago… [yesterday], on December 8, 1981, the Supreme Court decided the case of Widmar v. Vincent””probably the most important pro-religious-liberty judicial decision of the modern era. The question at issue was whether the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), a state university, could bar a Christian student group named “Cornerstone” from using university facilities because the students wished to engage in religious worship and expression. While UMKC allowed other student groups to use its facilities, the university excluded Cornerstone from doing so under a regulation forbidding the use of its buildings “for purposes of religious worship or religious teaching.”

By a vote of 8”“1, the Court held that the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause protects religious speech and association by private speakers and groups, just as it protects speech by any other speakers on any other subject, and that the Establishment Clause does not authorize discriminatory exclusion of religious speech.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture