Education

Bill Cassidy Is Not Having Yale’s Response To Alleged Religious Discrimination

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy said Yale Law School’s response over a policy that allegedly discriminated against religious students painted a “confusing picture” and wanted clarity in a letter Thursday.

“The policy we announced last month is simple: going forward, we will not fund the work of an employer that refuses to hire students because they are, for instance, Christian, black, a veteran, or gay,” law school dean Heather Gerken said in a statement Wednesday. “Without that policy, we would be forced to subsidize employers that discriminate against our own students.”

But Cassidy was concerned about how such a policy would apply if the religious organization required certain “religious tenants” or beliefs to be followed as a condition of employment.

The Louisiana senator also took issue with an April 4 statement from the school that said the policy would “include an accommodation for religious organizations and a ministerial exception, consistent with anti-discrimination principles.”

“This statement is incoherent and misleading, because a ministerial exception explicitly allows for certain forms of exclusion as a means to protect the core principles and beliefs of the faith,” Cassidy wrote. “What specific anti-discrimination principles does Yale Law School wish to apply on Yale Law School students who wish to work for a faith-based organization?”

Cassidy finds the issue important because, “It is discriminatory for Yale Law School to deny benefits to students who wish to work at a religious organization that requires religious affirmation and adherence to core religious principles as a prerequisite of employment.”

Yale is one of the few schools that pays students who work for public-interest groups during the summer and after graduation, according to Gerken.

Cassidy wants funding sources for the programs that allows Yale Law to “offer student-based subsidies.” (RELATED: Christian Student Group Wins Against University Of Iowa In Religious Freedom Case)

“We sent the letter yesterday evening, so we have not received a response yet from Yale Law School,” Cassidy spokesman Ty Bofferding said to The Daily Caller News Foundation over email Friday.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a campaign rally ahead of the 2018 midterm elections in Victoria, Texas, U.S., November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a campaign rally ahead of the 2018 midterm elections in Victoria, Texas, U.S., November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz wrote in a letter April 4 he would investigate the law school’s policy on school stipends, which changed following complaints from an LGBTQ group called Outlaws. The group criticized the Federalist Society for inviting a lawyer from Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom in February.

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley also sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr Tuesday requesting the Department of Justice to strip funding from Yale if it goes after “religious students for special disfavor,” Fox News reported.

Yale Law did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

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