The Department of Education has proposed new regulations that are open for comment by the general public. Two sections of the new regulations are designed to protect religious student groups from being singled out and denied benefits because of their religious identity.
Kim Colby, Director of the Center for Law and Religious Freedom at Christian Legal Society, summarizes the proposed regs and why they are needed. She also suggests that those who are in support of these regs should take action to comment in support of their final adoption.
Here are the regulations Kim addresses on the podcast:
Proposed regulation 34 CFR § 75.500(d) (§ 76.500(d) is essentially verbatim):
“A public institution shall not deny to a religious student organization at the public institution any right, benefit, or privilege that is otherwise afforded to other student organizations at the public institution (including full access to the facilities of the public institution and official recognition of the organization by the public institution) because of the beliefs, practices, policies, speech, membership standards, or leadership standards of the religious student organization.”
The Center for Law and Religious Freedom has a guide to the regs and tips on how to comment at CLSReligiousFreedom.org/CampusComments. Here are the basic steps on how to submit a comment on or before February 18:
Go to https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ED-2019-OPE-0080-0001 (You are at the right place if the title is “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Direct Grant Programs, State-Administered Formula Grant Programs, Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program, and Strengthening Institutions Program” and the ID No. is ED-2019-OPE-0080-0001.) In the upper right hand of the page, press “Comment Now.” Write your comment in the large blank space in the middle of the page (up to 5000 characters). At the top of your comment, type ID: ED-2019-OPE-0080-0001. If your comment is a document longer than 5000 characters or you want to include an attachment, type in the blank space, “I support the Department’s proposed regulations 34 CFR § 75.500(d) and § 76.500(d) for the reasons given in the attached comment” and upload the longer document or other attachment below the large blank space. Fill in your first and last name (or initial). Note that your name will appear on the public website. Hit “continue” to go to the next page. Check the small box indicating that you “have read and understand the statement. Hit “submit comment.”
Cross & Gavel Audio is a cooperative ministry of Christian Legal Society and Trinity Law School. Mike Schutt is director of CLS Law Student Ministries and the Institute for Christian Legal Studies. He is a Clinical Associate Professor at Trinity Law.