That’s Not What the Court Said
The Supreme Court has NOT said Yeshiva University "must allow L.G.B.T. groups.”
The legacy media lies. I hope you know that. They distort the truth and paint everything in the light most favorable to their preferred political desires. In other words, they tell news stories in ways that can help the radical left and the Democratic Party while hurting conservatives and the Republican Party. Do not let yourself be manipulated.
This week the Supreme Court released an order in a case called Yeshiva University v. YU Pride Alliance. The headlines as the U.S. Supreme Court took procedural action on the case are all sounding the familiar pro-LGBTQ+ tune synonymous with the leftist legacy media. “Supreme Court Says Yeshiva University Must Allow L.G.B.T. Group as Case Proceeds,” wrote The New York Times. Similar slants were all over the usual leftist newspapers, and commentators on social media took the bait.
Only one problem. The Supreme Court has not made any decision on the merits of the case. As I mentioned, they took procedural action. The school has not exhausted all state remedies before asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. There is nothing uncommon about this, and in fact, the Court must be able to manage the enormous number of cases that it is asked to hear. They want lower courts to do the right thing and dispense of cases correctly below. They are hoping the same is done in this case.
Especially in religious liberty cases, the Court has recently stressed that lower courts must take notice of the broad protections the Court has recognized in recent years instead of holding on to outdated ways of rationalizing preferred outcomes under the guise of legal analysis. Just this past term, Justice Neil Gorsuch wondered why some lower courts insisted on using the infamous “Lemon” test the Supreme Court has long rejected in religious liberty cases. He said, “it’s hard not to wonder whether some simply prefer the policy outcomes Lemon can be manipulated to produce.” That was a unanimous victory for religious liberty in a case called Shurtleff v. City of Boston, which had even members of the liberal side of the Court asking at oral arguments why the government did not settle the matter before reaching the Supreme Court— it was such a straightforward unconstitutional violation of religious liberty to spot.
With this backdrop, it would be foolish to think that because the Court is asking the lower courts in this case to handle the issue, they are saying the Yeshiva University “must allow L.G.B.T. groups.” Here is what the U.S. Supreme Court really did.
Yeshiva University sought emergency relief from the Supreme Court of a non-final order of the New York trial court. The order from the New York court required the university to treat an LGBTQ+ student group similarly to other student groups in its recognition process.
The Supreme Court denied the appeal “because it appears that applicants have at least two further avenues for expedited or interim state court relief.” That is it. That is all the Court did. It took no position on forcing the university to allow an LGBTQ+ group.
In fact, Justice Samuel Alito, in dissent (and it is worth noting that Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Barrett joined), made clear that “If applicants seek and receive neither expedited review nor interim relief from the New York courts, they may return to this Court.”
Furthermore, Justice Alito wrote:
“Does the First Amendment permit a State to force a Jewish school to instruct its students in accordance with an interpretation of Torah that the school, after careful study, has concluded is incorrect? The answer to that question is surely ‘no.’ The First Amendment guarantees the right to the free exercise of religion, and if that provision means anything, it prohibits a State from enforcing its own preferred interpretation of Holy Scripture. Yet that is exactly what New York has done in this case ….”
Needless to say, this does not bode well for the State of New York. We can only hope New York and the lower courts heed the message and put an end to this clear violation of our constitutional rights, sparing themselves, the courts and the American people from the embarrassment of the Supreme Court having to intervene again to do it for them.