On August 25, 2005, the Association of Christian Schools International, the Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta, California, and six students at the school filed a lawsuit against the University of California. The plaintiffs objected to the UC policy of rejecting certain high school biology classes from Christian schools as "inconsistent with the viewpoints and knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community;" they claimed that this policy violated applicants' rights to "freedom of speech, freedom from viewpoint discrimination, freedom of religion and association, freedom from arbitrary discretion, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from hostility toward religion."
On August 8, 2006, Judge S. James Otero dismissed the claims against individual UC officials, but allowed the claims against the university system as a whole to proceed. On March 28, 2008, Judge Otero ruled in favor of UC's motion for partial summary judgment, which established that the university system's admissions policies were constitutional; on August 8 of that year, he further ruled that these policies were properly and constitutionally applied in the case of the applicants in question.
The plaintiffs immediately appealed the case, but in a January 12, 2010, ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the federal district court's summary judgment; the Supreme Court declined to review the case on October 12, 2010, bringing it to a definitive end.
All the legal documentation available to us for this case is provided at the bottom of this page. It is arranged in chronological order.
- Original complaint
Expert Witness Reports
- Court opinion and ruling granting UC's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
- Court opinion and ruling granting UC's Motion for Summary Judgment on "as-applied" claims
- ACSI Brief of Appeal
- UC Responsive Brief
Briefs of Amici Curiae
- American Center for Law and Justice, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, et al., for ACSI
- National Legal Foundation, for ACSI
- American Historical Association & Organization of American Historians, for UC
- American Association of University Professors, for UC
- California Council of Science and Technology, for UC
- California State University system and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for UC
- ACSI Reply Brief
Related NCSE Articles
Related Off-Site Material
Nick Matzke, at The Panda's Thumb: ACSI v. Stearns, aka Wendell Bird vs. UC
Mike Dunford, at The Questionable Authority: