US Senator Ted Cruz is opening an investigation into Yale Law School. No — this is not misplaced Ivy League rivalry. (Senator Cruz is a Harvard Law grad.) The Senator says Yale is discriminating against students with “traditional Christian views.” As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Senator Cruz sent a letter to Yale Law School’s Dean Heather Gerken. The letter inquires about the school’s new policy denying financial assistance to students who participate in certain summer public interest fellowships, post-graduate fellowships, and career assistance programs. The policy states Yale will “no longer provide any stipends or loan repayments for students serving in organizations professing traditional Christian views or adhering to traditional sexual ethics.”
Yale previously funded such programs and stated specifically that loan assistance covered “all jobs in all sectors.” Senator Cruz describes this policy change as “transparently discriminatory.”
The change came about because, back in February, campus protesters were upset that the Yale Federalist Society brought in, as a speaker, the attorney who argued an important religious liberty case before the US Supreme Court. Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is the case in which baker Jack Phillips, who refused to design a cake for a same-sex ceremony, won the right to operate his business in accordance with his faith. Alliance Defending Freedom’s Kristen Waggoner argued the case and won 7-2.
It’s no surprise that the Federalist Society invited her to Yale or that twenty plus organizations publicly condemned the event and the speaker.
But, one LGBT advocacy group, the Outlaws, proceeded to blast Yale for providing any assistance to students working for organizations which they believe discriminate against them.
A list of demands followed. Recent Yale Law graduate Samuel Adkinson wrote in a USA Today op-ed that the “major policy changes” Dean Gerken implemented “went further than many of the protestors’ demands.”
Senator Cruz is right to pursue this.