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Christian students ask DC court to uphold religious freedom on campus

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The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Erik Baptist regarding a friend-of-the-court brief ADF attorneys filed Friday on behalf of Ratio Christi, a nationwide Christian apologetics organization. The brief was filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Secular Student Alliance v. U.S. Department of Education, in which a secular student group is suing the federal government over a rule that protects the First Amendment freedoms of religious student groups on college campuses:

“Universities are meant to be a marketplace of ideas where students can learn to respect diverse opinions and beliefs and not have to fear punishment or harassment because of their own values. The Department of Education rightfully updated its regulations to ensure that institutions of higher education have policies that align with the First Amendment. If the rule was to change, student groups like Ratio Christi would suffer immediate consequences. Ratio Christi has at least twice gone to court over discriminatory policies targeted at their beliefs, and the Department of Education updated its regulations to prevent these types of violations. The Secular Student Alliance has suffered no injury based on these updates, and the Department of Education would be wrong to rescind this policy. We urge the court to uphold First Amendment freedoms for college students everywhere.”

Ratio Christi—whose mission is to defend the intellectual plausibility of the Christian faith on campus and explain how the Christian viewpoint relates to personal, vocational, and cultural aspects of life—filed a motion to intervene in the case in 2021 to uphold the federal rule, on which the court as not yet ruled.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Related Profiles

Portrait of Erik Baptist
Erik Baptist
Senior Counsel
Erik Baptist serves as senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, focusing on administrative litigation and regulatory advocacy.