State Censorship of Religious High Schools Heads to Supreme Court

Washington, D.C. – The Pacific Justice Institute is asking the US Supreme Court to review a case involving government censorship of faith-based high school curricula and discrimination against religious students.

PJI has filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Catholic League and Ignatius Press in Association of Christian Schools International v. Stearns. This brief asks the Supreme Court to review a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which approved actions by the University of California system that effectively prevent private Christian, Catholic, and Jewish high schools from teaching courses in accordance with their faith traditions.

In essence, the UC system has declared that students from religious high schools will have difficulty being admitted to UC schools because those students will not be given credit for key courses such as biology, history, and literature when those courses are taught from a religious perspective. UC officials stated in the lower courts that they considered religious perspectives—such as the role of pine providence in history—too narrow-minded. As a result, students from religious schools may be required to post higher test scores than their public school counterparts in order to be admitted to one of the ten UC schools, which include UC Berkeley and UCLA.

“The ACSI decision represents yet another appalling case where the Ninth Circuit has approved blatant government discrimination against religious students,” said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute. “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will accept review of this case in order to restore the basic rights of Christian, Catholic, and Jewish high schools to teach their religious values without hindrance,” he continued.