The Center for Law & Religious Freedom

What's Wrong with an "All-Comers" Policy?

The Main Reasons that Law Schools would be Unwise to Adopt a Martinez-Style "All Comers" Policy

1. An all comers policy would require, for example, an African American student group to admit KKK members as leaders.  In a PBS interview, Acting Dean Martinez admitted as much.  Here is the link.  Here is the excerpt:

O’BRIEN: Would a student chapter of, say, B’nai B’rith, a Jewish Anti-Defamation League, have to admit Muslims?
MARTINEZ: The short answer is yes.
O’BRIEN: A black group would have to admit white supremacists?
MARTINEZ: It would.
O’BRIEN: Even if it means a black student organization is going to have to admit members of the Ku Klux Klan

2. Hastings' counsel admitted at oral argument that an all comers policy would allow a university to exclude an Orthodox Jewish student group or a Muslim student group from campus if the university deemed its faith-based practices to be "discriminatory."

3. An all comers policy requires the administration to be involved in all student groups' decisionmaking to a far greater degree than does a normal nondiscrimination policy.  Under an all comers policy, any student can complain that any leadership decision of any group violated the all comers policy, whereas under a normal nondiscrimination policy, only decisions made regarding discrete protected categories of persons---race, age, etc.--are subject to scrutiny.

4.  The Court was clear that any all comers policy must be applied uniformly to all student groups--prohibiting any group from requiring its leaders to share its beliefs or values.  Therefore, the environmentalist group cannot require its leaders to recycle, and the vegan group cannot require its leaders to abstain from using animal products.  Most groups want to advance their purposes and expect their leaders to be good examples of their organizations' mission.