MADISON, Wis. —The University of Wisconsin-Madison has agreed to cover legal costs racked up as a result of its latest multi-year effort to discriminate against Christian students in Badger Catholic v. Walsh. ADF has been involved in six different lawsuits involving the state university system’s relentless discrimination against Christian and conservative groups.
“Universities should recognize the constitutional rights of Christian students and ministries just as they do for all other students and campus groups,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence. “Sadly, the University refused to do so, and instead squandered money by trying to defend the indefensible: blatant, unlawful discrimination against Christian students and ministries.”
In September 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that University of Wisconsin-Madison officials violated the First Amendment by refusing to fund certain events of Badger Catholic, a registered student group, while providing funding for the events of other student organizations. The university refused to provide funds from student activity fees because the student group’s events contained religious expression, including prayer, worship, and proselytization. In March 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the decision, allowing it to stand.
ADF filed this lawsuit after the university violated the terms of a settlement agreement reached in a previous lawsuit on behalf of the same group when it was known as the Roman Catholic Foundation. The federal courts again agreed with ADF and the university will cover nearly $500,000 in legal costs incurred as a result of the university’s refusal to obey the U.S. Constitution and repeated judgments against it in federal court.
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.