ADF attorneys file suit to stop U. of Wis.-Madison from violating settlement agreement

Suit alleges that university officials continue to engage in discriminatory treatment of school’s Roman Catholic Foundation
Monday, September 10, 2007

MADISON, Wis. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed a federal lawsuit Monday on behalf of the Roman Catholic Foundation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  In May, the university had settled a previous lawsuit filed by ADF attorneys by agreeing to not discriminate against the foundation’s religious expression.  The new lawsuit alleges that the school has subsequently violated the terms of that agreement by engaging in new acts of discrimination.

“Being a Christian shouldn’t make you a second-class citizen on a college campus, but that is exactly what’s happening time and time again at the University of Wisconsin,” said ADF CAF Director and Senior Counsel David French.  “The university continues to find new and creative ways to deny Christian student groups their constitutional right to be treated equally with student groups of other viewpoints.  So, once again, we are holding the school accountable to ensure that the rights for all Christian groups to exist according to their sincerely-held beliefs are preserved.”

In the prior lawsuit, the school refused to recognize the foundation and allow it to apply for student activity fee funding, contending that the group was in violation of the school’s “non-discrimination” policy.  After a federal court ordered an end to enforcement of the university’s non-discrimination policy against the foundation, the school agreed in settlement to refrain from discriminating against the foundation when allocating student activity fees.

In the new lawsuit, ADF attorneys explain that the university has now reneged on the previous agreement--that it is once again placing conditions upon the foundation and denying it the same access to student fee funding that all other student groups enjoy.

“The fact that the university is violating the agreement it signed just three months ago is another example of the incredible hostility that religious groups at the university face on a regular basis,” French said.

A copy of the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Roman Catholic Foundation, UW-Madison v. Walsh can be read here

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is defending religious freedom at America’s public universities. 

www.telladf.org        www.centerforacademicfreedom.org

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.