Yeshiva University (YU), a renowned Orthodox Jewish college in New York, was temporarily compelled against its will by the Supreme Court to allow an LGBTQ group.
When a Nyc judge ordered Yeshiva University to recognize the Yeshiva University Lgbt Alliance, the college asked for a stay of the decision. On Friday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor approved the urgent petition, but on Wednesday the court decided 5-4 to deny the stay and return the matter back to New York courts, where YU has previously lost.
Becket Fund president Mark Rienzi has previously stated that “the stakes couldn’t be greater, not only for Yeshiva but for the entire nation. As a result, a wide range of religious groups submitted briefs urging the court to defend Yeshiva. No religious organization is safe from government influence if Yeshiva cannot even make religious choices on their own campus.”
YU is being represented by The Becket Fund.
The New York court argues that because YU describes itself as an educational institution and not a place of worship, it does not qualify for a religious exemption. “The Yeshiva University Case Means We’re All Jews Now,” stated William McGurn, the former Chief Speechwriter for President George W. Bush, in The Wall Street Journal.
“In particular at a Jewish university,” he continued, “What a crowded view this is, as if religion can be so readily segregated into clean and discrete boxes.”
The Supreme Court argued that YU had not asked the New York courts to consider their appeal’s merits more quickly or submitted a revised motion to the Appellate Division asking for permission to appeal that court’s rejection of a stay to the New York Court of Appeals. As a result, the Supreme Court denied the application. According to the Court, YU might come back if it requested the expedited review or interim relief from the New York courts but did not succeed in getting it.
Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Samuel Alito were the four justices that sided with YU. Alito pronounced:
“Does the First Amendment allow a State to order a Jewish school to train pupils in line with a Torah interpretation that the institution has determined is erroneous after thorough consideration? That question can only have one response: “No.”
“If the First Amendment’s guarantee of the freedom to practice one’s religion is to have any meaning, it forbids the State from mandating its own favored reading of the Bible. However, New York has done just that in this instance, therefore it is regrettable that the majority of the Court would not provide relief. Even when doing so is contentious, it is our responsibility to stand up for the Constitution.”
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, two “conservative” judges, backed the majority ruling against YU.