A federal judge ruled Monday that Wayne State University violated the constitutional rights of a Christian student group that required its leaders to be Christians.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship had been active on the campus for 75 years before suing the school in 2018. The suit claimed Wayne State took away benefits it provides to other student groups because the religious requirement in InterVarsity’s constitution violated the university’s nondiscrimination policy.
“The uncontested facts demonstrate that” Wayne State violated InterVarsity’s “rights to internal management, free speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and free exercise as a matter of law,” U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland wrote in an 83-page opinion. “Defendants also violated the Establishment Clause as a matter of law.”
The university said the lawsuit should have ended in 2018, when it reinstated InterVarsity on campus.
“The court’s ruling was not unexpected,” said Matt Lockwood, associate vice president of communications for Wayne State. “Unfortunately, despite the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship being granted everything it requested in a timely manner, it continued to pursue litigation, forcing the university to spend time and taxpayer dollars in an unnecessary lawsuit.”
The university is reviewing the ruling, he said.
“The law is crystal clear: