Education

Protecting religious freedom in schools.

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Do individuals give up their free speech when they go to school?   Do people have to choose between practicing their faith and attending classes?  Can schools accommodate religious freedom, or must they treat religion as something dangerous that must be avoided?  Can states continue to use Jim Crow-type laws to deny religious groups equal funding in education?  These are just a few ways that government tramples upon religious freedom, but Becket has won landmark precedents ensuring freedom for all.

Religious discrimination across the country often happens under the guise of “Blaine Amendments,” which forbid the use of state funds to support religious purposes and were specifically designed to block only Catholic groups from accessing funds. The blatant religious discrimination by state Blaine amendments had them being compared to Jim Crow laws.  Despite the Supreme Court’s clear statement that Blaine Amendments were a “doctrine born of bigotry [that] should be buried now,”  these amendments continue to plague many state constitutions and are used by activists to deny equal funding in religious education. Becket is leading the fight against these bigoted and discriminatory policies.

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Education Cases

Use the simple filters to explore our cases in this practice area, or visit our Cases Page to search our entire database.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship  v. Wayne State University

The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship student group on Michigan’s Wayne State University has been on campus for over 75 years, holding Bible studies, hosting discussions on important campus issues, and providing a community for all students. Its goal has always ...

Case Status:
Active
Becket Role:
Counsel
Deciding Court:
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Practice Area(s):
Education, Free Speech, Religious Communities

Reaching Souls International, Inc. v. Azar

In August 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a federal mandate that required employers to provide services like the week-after pill in their health insurance plans. The mandate forced evangelical Christian ministries like Reaching Souls International, Truett-McConnell ...

Case Status:
Won
Becket Role:
Counsel
Deciding Court:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Practice Area(s):
Education, Individual Freedom, Religious Communities

East Texas Baptist University & Houston Baptist University v. Azar

Baptists in America are sensitive to forced government actions that infringe on their religious liberty. America’s first Baptist leader, Roger Williams, fled Massachusetts and founded a colony in Providence, Rhode Island, because his religious beliefs were not allowed ...

Case Status:
Active
Becket Role:
Counsel
Deciding Court:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Practice Area(s):
Education, Individual Freedom, Religious Communities