An Obama-appointed judge just handed a victory to a Christian student group at the University of Iowa (UIowa).
Last August, UIowa purged close to 40 student groups from campus because they require group leaders to meet certain criteria, including religious.
The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA was included in this purge. The school claimed InterVarsity’s requirement that leaders should be followers of the Christian faith violated its so-called Human Rights Policy.
UIowa deregistered other religious groups with similar requirements.
A court sided with InterVarsity last Friday, according to the group’s legal counsel, Becket Law. The court ruled that UIowa officials will be held personally liable for deregistering InterVarsity and ordered the school to reinstate the group.
Judge Stephanie Rose, appointed by the previous president, also ruled in a Christian group’s favor in a previous case. She contended in February that the University of Iowa violated the U.S. Constitution when it removed Business Leaders In Christ (also a Becket Law client) from campus for requiring its leaders to be professing Christians.
Judge Rose didn’t understand why UIowa sanctioned InterVarsity after she ruled in favor of Business Leaders In Christ. From Becket Law:
The court did “not know how a reasonable person could have concluded this was acceptable,” since it “plainly” doubled down on the exact same conduct the court had already held unlawful. In a hearing last week, the court described the University’s conduct as “ludicrous” and “incredibly baffling.”
The University of Iowa’s vice-president is among those personally liable, and Becket Law noted that the school’s president could also be held personally liable.