ADF attorney available to media after 7th Circuit hearing in ongoing legal battle with U. of Wis.


Monday, October 26, 2009

WHO: ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence
WHAT: Available for media questions after hearing in Roman Catholic Foundation v. Walsh
WHEN: Tuesday, Oct.  27 immediately after the hearing, which begins at 9:30 a.m. CDT
WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, Room 2721, 219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago

CHICAGO — Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence will be available to answer questions from the media at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit following a hearing Tuesday in a lawsuit against the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Lorence will be arguing that university officials violated the First Amendment by refusing to fund events of a student Catholic organization even though the school provides funding for the events of other student organizations.

The funding refusal, based on the fact that RCF’s events contained religious expression, violates the terms of a settlement agreement reached in a previous lawsuit ADF filed on behalf of the same group.

“The constitutional rights of Christian student organizations should be recognized by university officials just as they recognize those rights for other student groups,” said Lorence.  “The university funds the advocacy and expression of other student organizations without the scrutiny and vetoes that it imposes on the Roman Catholic Foundation.  Unfortunately, officials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison continue their history of singling out Christian student groups for discrimination despite repeated court decisions saying they can’t do this.”

“It’s our hope that the court will put a stop to the university’s unconstitutional policy and order the university to pay the money that it earlier agreed to pay RCF,”  Lorence added. “UW-Madison should not be spending its time coming up with creative ways to treat the expression of Christian groups differently than that of other campus groups.”

In January 2008, the court granted a preliminary injunction in the case, Roman Catholic Foundation v. Walsh. Earlier this year, a different judge issued a final ruling partially in RCF’s favor but did not issue an injunction against the university and did not order any repayment of funds. RCF appealed to the 7th Circuit on those issues.  The university also appealed, claiming the Establishment Clause prohibited the lower court from ruling in favor of RCF at all.
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.