Supreme Court Decision Leads College To Suspend All Student Groups

( Yeshiva University has decided to shut down every undergraduate club on its campus on a temporary basis while it figures out what to do in response to a recent ruling from the Supreme Court.

The high court said that the school must comply with an order handed down by a lower court that said it had to recognize an LGBTQ group on campus. The Supreme Court said the school, an Orthodox Jewish university that has multiple campuses in New York City, had to comply while it works through all its options for appeal at the state level.

Instead of complying right away, Yeshiva University instead decided to temporarily bar any student groups from meeting.

Last Friday, the university sent an email to all students, saying that it would “hold off on all undergraduate club activities while it immediately takes steps to follow the roadmap provided by the U.S. Supreme Court to protect YU’s religious freedom.”

The school has long been at odds with a peer group that provides support to students who identify as LGBTQ. Yeshiva University has argued that if they were to officially recognize the club, known as YU Pride Alliance, it would effectively violate the school’s rights to religious freedom.

On the other side of the argument, members of the club have said that YU is essentially breaking a New York City human rights law that prohibits discrimination based on many criteria, including sexual orientation.

An attorney for YU Pride Alliance, Katherine Rosenfeld, told the Gothamist recently that the college is adopting similar tactics that other racial institutions of the past have in order to refuse orders of segregation.

The decision by the college, she said, “is a throwback to 50 years ago when the city of Jackson, Mississippi, closed all public swimming pools rather than comply with court orders to desegregate.”

She continued:

“By shutting down all club activities, the YU administration attempts to divide the student body and pit students against their LGBT peers. We are confident that YU students will see through this shameful tactic and stand together in community.”

The university hasn’t commented any further on where it will go from here, and didn’t provide additional details on next steps to the media or to students.

Back in June, a judge at the New York state level ruled in favor of the student group. After that happened, the university requested that the Supreme Court intervene on their behalf.

The high court denied the school’s request for emergency relief, though that decision is seen widely as being procedural. All it did was say that the university needed to go through the proper state appeal channels first before it could appeal to the Supreme Court.

In fact, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court noted that they would likely take the case up if it ever gets in front of them.

In writing the dissenting opinion in the emergency relief motion, conservative Justice Samuel Alito wrote:

“[New York’s] mandatory interpretation of scripture is a shocking development that calls out for review. Yeshiva would likely win if its case came before us.”