Press Release

Targeting on the quad: student group booted off campus, put on religious watchlist Christian student group targeted for beliefs by University of Iowa officials seeks justice in court

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON– A Christian student group at the University of Iowa will be asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit tomorrow to hold school officials accountable for targeting the group’s religious beliefs, in BLinC v. University of Iowa.

Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) was booted off-campus in 2017 because it asks its leaders to follow its religious beliefs, even though it accepted and served all students. University officials also put 32 religious groups on a special watchlist and deregistered 10 other religious groups, including the Chinese Student Christian Fellowship, the Imam Mahdi Muslim organization, and the Sikh Awareness Club—all for the sin of requiring religious leadership. But the university broadly exempted secular groups and even some favored religious groups from its rules, holding BLinC and disfavored religious groups to a very different standard.

This past summer the Supreme Court sent a strong message in Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey-Berru that religious groups should be allowed to choose their own leadership. The Eighth Circuit should follow suit and ensure that public universities like the University of Iowa can’t target religious groups and suppress people of faith on campus.

Oral Argument in BLinC v. University of Iowa

Eric Baxter, vice president and senior counsel at Becket

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EDT

Virtual hearing, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
Call-in: 888-363-4749 (pin: 4423562)

Eric Baxter will be available for comment immediately following the hearing.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Ryan Colby atmedia@becketlaw.orgor 202-349-7224.Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.