The Supreme Court denied a bid by Yeshiva University to block an LGBTQ+ student organization from forming on campus and is sending the issue back to the New York courts.
In a 5-4 ruling against the Jewish university on Wednesday, the Supreme Court denied Yeshiva’s request to put a New York County Supreme Court decision on pause, and the school will now need to go through the New York court system.
Supreme Court Justices who dissented from the majority included Justice Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the majority, said that “The application is denied because it appears that applicants have at least two further avenues for expedited or interim state court relief.”
Alito’s dissent states that the First Amendment allows Yeshiva University to freely exercise its religion, and added that it’s doubtful a return to state court will be successful for the school.
“I doubt that Yeshiva’s return to state court will be fruitful, and I see no reason why we should not grant a stay at this time. It is our duty to stand up for the Constitution even when doing so is controversial,” Alito wrote.
New York County Supreme Court Judge Lynn Kotler ruled on June 14 that because the university is chartered as a nonreligious organization, it must be in compliance with the New York City Human Rights Law.
Kotler said in a previous ruling that the university must “immediately grant plaintiff YU Pride Alliance the full equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges afforded to all other student groups at Yeshiva University.”
The New York County Supreme Court judge also ordered the university and its President, Ari Berman, to be “permanently restrained from continuing their refusal to officially recognize the YU Pride Alliance as a student organization because of the members’ sexual orientation or gender and/or YU Pride Alliance’s status, mission, and/or activities on behalf of LGBTQ students.”