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Unconstitutional insurance requirement applied to student pro-life group at Arizona State University

Related Case: ASU Students for Life v. Crow

WHO:  ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Heather Gebelin Hacker
WHAT:  Available for media questions following hearing in ASU Students for Life v. Crow
WHEN:  Immediately following hearing, which begins at 3 p.m. MST, Tuesday, March 4
WHERE:  Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse, 401 West Washington St., Phoenix

PHOENIX — Alliance Defense Fund Litigation Staff Counsel Heather Gebelin Hacker will be available to answer questions from the media following oral arguments in federal court Tuesday in ASU Students for Life v. Crow, a lawsuit challenging unlawful restrictions on a pro-life student group at Arizona State University.

“Pro-life student groups shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs,” said Hacker.  “Forcing pro-life students to pay for insurance in order to exercise their right to free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment is unconstitutional.  Free speech should not have a price tag.”

In December 2005, members of ASU Students for Life submitted a request to display an exhibit on campus.  The exhibit, designed by the non-profit organization Justice for All, displayed different aspects of the pro-life viewpoint.  After ASU Students for Life attempted to reserve several areas in which to display the exhibit, ASU administration officials told the group that it would be restricted to just one, relenting only after receiving correspondence from ADF attorneys.

University officials insisted that the club obtain insurance in order to display the exhibit despite the lack of a written policy.  For a subsequent event in April 2006, ASU Students for Life was again required to purchase insurance even though this event only involved sitting at a table on campus and passing out literature.

On July 24, 2006, ADF attorneys filed suit on behalf of the group.  University officials continue to insist that ASU Students for Life adhere to an overbroad policy requiring insurance for certain student group activities.

A fact sheet is available on the lawsuit here.

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom defends religious freedom at America’s public universities.  ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.

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