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Monday, Mar 19, 2012
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel David Cortman regarding today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to review the case Alpha Delta Chi v. Reed, involving a Christian sorority and fraternity at San Diego State University told they must be willing to accept atheists as leaders:

“Public universities should encourage, not censor, the free exchange of ideas. But for now, the supposed marketplace of ideas at San Diego State University will remain a stronghold for censorship. We wish the Supreme Court would have used this opportunity to make clear that the First Amendment protects the right of student groups to employ belief-based criteria in selecting their members and leaders.”

“Throughout the years of defending its policy, the university did not tell the Democratic club it must be led by a Republican, or the vegetarian club that it must be led by a meat-eater, but it did tell Christian groups that they must allow themselves to be led by atheists. Even its purported, 11th-hour policy change made at the doorstep of the Supreme Court continues to treat religious groups less favorably than many other student groups. When political conformity is placed ahead of the constitutionally protected rights of students, all students--including students of faith--suffer.”

ADF Media Relations: (480) 444-0020 or

Previous News Releases

Legal Documents

9th Circuit decision: Alpha Delta Chi v. Reed
Notice of appeal to 9th Circuit: Every Nation Campus Ministries at San Diego State University v. Reed
District court summary judgment order: Every Nation Campus Ministries at San Diego State University v. Achtenberg
Complaint: Every Nation Campus Ministries at San Diego State University v. Achtenberg

Related Resources

ABOUT David Cortman

David A. Cortman serves as senior counsel and vice president of U.S. litigation with Alliance Defending Freedom. Cortman heads all direct litigation efforts to protect religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and marriage and the family. He has successfully litigated over 200 cases at every level, including recent victories at the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeal. A member of the bar in Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and the District of Columbia, he is also admitted to practice in over two dozen federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Cortman obtained his J.D. magna cum laude from Regent University School of Law.