The Supreme Court has been seeing cases regarding religious freedom and finding for those to have that freedom.
A school coach was praying with his team before games.
When the school district learned that coach Joseph Kennedy was praying with the team, they told him that he could pray separately from the students.
Kennedy declined to change his practice, arguing that students were not forced to pray with him but that several did of their own volition.
He was placed on paid leave by the district, which then led to a First Amendment lawsuit.
Last year, lower courts sided with the Bremerton School District.
The case went before the Supreme Court in April; the high court ruled 6-3 in his favor.
In June, the full Supreme Court sided with the former Washington state high school football coach who was fired for praying on the field after games.
Now another case involving Yeshiva University, a private Orthodox Jewish research university with several campuses in New York, has been decided by the SCOTUS.
The university first opened its doors in 1886 and is currently one of the oldest Orthodox Jewish universities in the U.S.
An LGBTQ group, the Yeshiva Pride Alliance, wanted to be recognized by the school.
Attorneys for the Yeshiva Pride Alliance argued last month that the school must be forced to recognize the group.
“While Yeshiva University can espouse its Torah values without interference, it may not deny certain students access to the non-religious resources it offers the entire student community on the basis of sexual orientation,” the attorneys wrote last month in court filings.
The university filed its emergency appeal Aug. 29 as a means of pushing back on the “unprecedented intrusion” of the school’s religious beliefs, The Daily Wire noted.
In this case, the schools right to religious freedom regarding the founding principles of the school has come into question.
The Daily Wire adds:
Yeshiva University has been fighting to defend its religious identity in New York courts for more than a year. In YU Pride Alliance v. Yeshiva University, New York lower courts agreed with the plaintiffs to force Yeshiva to recognize an LGBTQ club on campus, even though this would violate Torah values that Yeshiva follows.
“As a deeply religious Jewish university, Yeshiva cannot comply with that [state court] order because doing so would violate its sincere religious beliefs about how to form its undergraduate students in Torah values,” the university argued in an emergency appeal before the Supreme Court.
But the campus wanted to change those core principles, and one judge agreed.
New York Supreme Court Justice Lynn Kotler had previously ordered Yeshiva University to recognize the LGBTQ group.
“Even if the court were to adopt Yeshiva’s religious function test, the court would reach the same result,” Kotler’s ruling said.
“Plaintiffs’ counsel correctly characterizes defendants’ argument on this point: defendants want this court to find that Yeshiva is a religious corporation in the same manner an ordinary person would describe themselves as a religious person,” the ruling added.
“There is no doubt that Yeshiva has an inherent and integral religious character which defines it and sets it apart from other schools and universities of higher education. However, Yeshiva must fit within the term ‘religious corporation’ as the legislature intended the term to mean in the [New York City Human Rights Law],” it said
Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a different ruling on the case between the LGBTQ group and the Orthodox university.
Becket Law Firm represented the Orthodox university.
Becket bills itself as “a non-profit, non-partisan, law firm that protects the free expression of all religious traditions.”
Despite the earlier ruling by the lower court, liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Friday ordered that ruling temporarily blocked to allow the institution’s religious freedom case to wrap up.
Sotomayor signed off on the ruling because she is the circuit justice overseeing the Second District, which includes the state of New York. The Daily Wire reported that there were no dissents, Conservative Brief reports.
“Yeshiva shouldn’t have been forced to go all the way to the Supreme Court to receive such a commonsense ruling in favor of its First Amendment rights,” Eric Baxter, vice president and senior counsel of the Becket law firm, noted in a statement to The Daily Wire after Sotomayor’s ruling.
“We are grateful that Justice Sotomayor stepped in to protect Yeshiva’s religious liberty in this case,” Baxter noted further.
Sotomayor’s jurisdiction over the lower court enabled her to stay the lower ruling, and the ruling stated the decision “hereby stayed pending further order of the undersigned or of the court.”
The New York Times noted that the ruling suggests the entire Supreme Court may take up the university’s case.
In court documents, lawyer Jonathan Berry noted the case concerns whether religious educational institutions will be able to “live out their faiths and missions free from state interference.”