.- The students of the Christian Legal Society (CLS) at Arizona State University College of Law is asking a federal court to protect their constitutional rights. The students filed a motion March 4 for preliminary injunction, while the civil rights case they filed against the university in November is pending.
The students want the court to immediately grant the CLS chapter status as a registered student group and permission to select official members and officers who agree with the CLS "Statement of Faith."
In the federal civil rights lawsuit the CLS chapter alleged that the university is violating the First Amendment rights of expressive association, free speech and free exercise of religion by failing to exempt them from the "nondiscrimination" provision in the Student Code of Conduct.
The school's policy forces the CLS chapter and other campus religious groups to accept non-Christian members and officers.
In September 2004, attorneys for the Center for Law & Religious Freedom asked school officials to exempt all religious student organizations from the religion and sexual orientation portions of the "nondiscrimination" provision of the Student Code of Conduct.
The letter explained that anyone is welcome to attend CLS chapter meetings and events, but official members and leaders must agree to the CLS Statement of Faith. School officials denied the chapter's request.