A federal judge ordered that the University of Idaho revoke no-contact orders against three Christian evangelical law students for sharing their religious beliefs with another student.
Peter Perlot and Ryan Alexander, members of the Christian Legal Society Chapter at the university, are free to “speak in a way consistent with their religious beliefs.” As a suit against C. Scott Green, the president, and three others progresses, an Alliance Defending Freedom announcement stated.
The public-interest firm represented the students who filed suit against the University of Idaho administrations in April following the issuance of no-contact orders against them. They also sued Richard Seamon (a faculty advisor to the Christian Legal Society section of the school).
The dustup at the university’s law school is the result of a April 1 “moment in community” when students, faculty, and staff met at Moscow’s campus. This was after an anti-LGBTQ+ slur had been found on the whiteboard of Boise campus. According to federal Chief District Judge David C. Nye, members of the Christian Legal Society were there and they prayed for “a show of support”.
After the prayer, Jane Doe (identified in the opinion by a queer woman and law student at University of Idaho School of Law) approached society members to ask why it requires that its officers affirm marriage between one man or one woman.
Mr. Miller explained that the requirement is there because the chapter members consider it the only “affirmed position in the Bible”, according to ADF statements. According to the court order, Ms. Doe stated that she believed the Bible didn’t support this conclusion .”
Later Mr. Perlot wrote a note to Ms. Doe stating that he was the president of CLS for this semester. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.”
This encounter was followed by an open denunciation of Ms. Doe’s group at a panel discussion hosted by the American Bar Association. Alexander was present at the event and said that Ms. Doe had mischaracterized the group. The no-contact orders were then issued to Ms. Doe, who was at the event and said that the students had not been given an opportunity to respond.
A no-contact order was an administrative and not punitive measure. According to a school spokesperson, “There is no matter for the respondent to answer to.”
ADF stated that the school issued a “no-contact” order against Mr. Seamon after the students had filed the suit. Ms. Doe had previously emailed Professor Seamon, stating that the Christian Legal Society’s involvement in the “momentof community” had made her “fear for my life at [U]niversity]. Your class is terrifying, and I’m afraid to go on campus.
I fear you.
Chief U.S. Court Judge David C. Nye, Idaho District Court — first appointed to the federal court in 2016 in 2011 by President Obama. Renominated again and confirmed by President Trump the next year, he granted an injunction to university officials as he believed the students would win the trial.
” “It’s likely that plaintiffs will prevail on their claims because of the targeted and dissimilar manner in which defendants chose regulate plaintiffs religious speech,” Judge Nye stated.
In an statement Tyson Langhofer (director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom) stated that “the University of Idaho must cease discriminating against students of religious belief and permit students of all ideologies to freely discuss important issues of today .”
A spokesperson for another University of Idaho said that the school is “reviewing” the order and does not comment about ongoing litigation.