ADF attorneys reach settlement agreement with CU-Boulder on behalf of pro-life student groupUniversity agrees to respect Justice for All's constitutional rights
Monday, October 03, 2005
BOULDER, Colo. - Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have reached a settlement agreement in a federal free speech lawsuit with officials at the University of Colorado at Boulder on behalf of Justice for All, a pro-life registered student organization at the school.
"Pro-life students should not be treated as second-class citizens," said ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco. The university did the right thing by recognizing that it can't censor pro-life speech."
Justice for All filed a federal civil rights lawsuit April 25 after the university obstructed the club's efforts to erect a temporary pro-life exhibit on campus. School officials denied Justice for All's request to display their exhibit on Hellem's Lawn, its requested area on campus, and instead relegated it to an area with less pedestrian traffic that was not large enough for the exhibit.
"We were able to reach a mutually beneficial settlement that allows JFA to use its preferred site on campus for the exhibit," Tedesco explained. "The standard for free speech is not what speech government officials like, but what the First Amendment protects. The First Amendment applies to everyone."
According to the settlement agreement, the university agreed that it "would, if an application were submitted today..., approve such from JFA to erect the same exhibit described in its March 2005 application on the Hellem's Lawn provided that there are no conflicting activities at the time requested in the application."
The case Justice for All-Students for Bio-Ethical Equality v. DiStefano was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. James Spencer, chief counsel of the national Justice for All organization, and James Rouse, an ADF-allied attorney with the Greenwood Village law firm Rouse & Associates, PC., assisted with the case.
"ADF will continue to defend the free speech rights of students and student organizations when those rights are violated by public university officials," Tedesco said.
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.