I was recently interviewed by the Stanford Review (a student publication) for an article analyzing the Supreme Court’s decision in CLS vs Martinez as it relates to Stanford (a case I have previously written about).
As is almost always the case with interviews, I said way more than they had space to include in the final article. Since the interview was via email, I have the full text of my remarks available. I should note that Autumn Carter, the interviewer, asked me several questions I declined to answer.
So here’s what I had to say:
SR: What is your opinion towards the Supreme Court’s ruling in general? With regard to Stanford?
Me: The Supreme Court’s logic would not apply at most public universities since the case at UC Hastings is so unique, and it will have no direct impact at all on private universities such as Stanford. And I hasten to point out that the case has been remanded back to a lower court for a closer examination of some factual issues. The Christian Legal Society alleges that UC Hastings enforced its policies unequally and in a discriminatory manner, something which the Supreme Court believes merits further investigation.
But to get bogged down in the legal maneuvering is to miss the essence of the case. For a university to force a Christian ministry to accept leaders who do not share its beliefs is as absurd as China’s plan to choose the next Dalai Lama, and I would suspect such a university of having similar motives: to control and to undermine religious belief which the authorities disapprove of.
Universities must decide what they believe tolerance looks like. Are they willing to become intolerant in the pursuit of tolerance? Are they willing to achieve their goals through coercion rather than reasoned discourse? UC Hastings appears to have decided that it is. It remains to be seen how many universities will embrace their folly.
SR: As you mentioned, Stanford is a private university and is therefore unaffected by the ruling directly. But do you anticipate any moves by Stanford to tighten its own group membership policy either independently or as a result of being lobbied? Or will Stanford likely maintain the looser policy that it currently uses?
Me: Should such lobbying arise I hope that Stanford will prove wiser than the Supreme Court.
In retrospect, I’m surprised the Stanford Review chose the quote they did. Some of my other sentences seem so much more… lively.