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June 13, 2024

Dr. Christina Francis at the Supreme Court
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Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom

U.S. Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion in ADF’s case against the FDA. While we’re disappointed the Court did not address the merits of the FDA’s unlawful removal of commonsense safety standards for abortion drugs, nothing in today’s decision changes this fact: women and girls are being harmed by the FDA’s recklessness. The FDA’s own label says that roughly one in 25 women who take chemical abortion drugs will end up in the emergency room.

ADF will continue to expose the reckless actions of the FDA and the harms of abortion drugs. And we are grateful three states stand ready to hold the FDA accountable for jeopardizing the health and safety of women and girls across this country.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

June 4, 2024

Brian and Katy Wuoti, residents of Windham County, Vermont.

Wuoti v. Winters

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two Vermont families after the state revoked their foster-care licenses because of their religious beliefs.

Inspired by their faith, two couples wanted to help meet Vermont’s “desperate” need for foster families. Pastor Brian Wuoti and his wife, Katy, became foster parents in 2014 and successfully adopted two brothers from foster care. Pastor Bryan Gantt and his wife, Becca, became foster parents in 2016 and focused on caring for children born with drug dependencies or with fetal alcohol syndrome. The Gantts have since adopted three children.

Despite a track record of success and high praise from social workers who knew them, Vermont’s Department for Children and Families revoked their foster-care licenses after the couples expressed their religiously inspired and widely held belief that girls cannot become boys or vice versa. They also expressed concern about the department’s policy requiring them to use inaccurate pronouns, take children to pride parades, and encourage children to reject their bodies.

Such policies violate the rights of foster and adoptive parents and deny children the opportunity to be placed in a loving home.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

May 28, 2024

Pro-abortion extremists have been vandalizing and firebombing pregnancy centers and pro-life organizations for months.

Obria Group v. Ferguson

Following a lawsuit brought by ADF attorneys, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson officially closed his unconstitutional investigation of a faith-based, pro-life network of pregnancy centers and one of its affiliated centers and stated he would not file litigation. ADF attorneys, representing Obria Group and Obria Medical Clinics PNW, challenged Ferguson for singling them out because of their life-affirming views through an unlawful investigation into their sensitive records and materials.

Ferguson issued civil investigative demands that dictate, for a time period exceeding 13 years, that the pregnancy centers provide answers to questions and production of documents under the pretense of conducting a civil investigation into “possible” violations of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. Ferguson’s investigation did not appear to be based on a complaint or other substantive evidence of wrongdoing but was rather an exploratory probe into the lawful activities of two organizations that hold a view on a matter of public policy that Ferguson doesn’t favor.

Ferguson had previously denied that his investigation caused the clinics any harm and had said this precluded the federal court from hearing the clinics’ claims. But after one of the clinics showed that Ferguson’s investigation caused it to lose insurance coverage and to pay seven times more for replacement coverage, Ferguson issued an official letter closing his investigation.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

May 28, 2024

Options Care Center in Jamestown, New York

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. James

On behalf of two nonprofit pro-life pregnancy centers and one nonprofit network of affiliated centers, ADF attorneys are suing the New York attorney general for using her power to censor pro-life pregnancy centers’ ability to tell women about the option of using progesterone for abortion pill reversal. Progesterone is a safe and naturally occurring hormone that may be used to counteract the life-ending effects of abortion drugs. Some statistical estimates suggest that over 5,000 babies’ lives have been saved through this treatment.

Yet, New York Attorney General Letitia James recently sued 11 faith-based pro-life pregnancy centers and a network of affiliated centers in the state seeking to silence their ability to tell women about their medical care options. Even though the centers offer these options for free, and progesterone supplements have been used safely for decades, New York is attempting to use laws that prohibit business fraud to suppress women's access to this life-saving information. In doing so, the Attorney General is unlawfully targeting pro-life pregnancy centers, threatening punishment for promoting and offering a service that gives women the option of changing their minds and attempting to save their baby’s life. Such actions from a government official violate the pregnancy centers’ First Amendment rights to speak freely and practice their religious beliefs—and they deny women access to vital medical information.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

May 21, 2024

High school classroom with teen girl raising hand

Carroll Independent School District

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Carroll Independent School District challenging a Biden administration rule change to unlawfully rewrite Title IX. The district is located in Southlake, Texas, and operates 11 schools for students from pre-K to 12th grade, with a student body of approximately 8,400.

On April 19, the administration announced it would redefine “sex” in Title IX rules to include “gender identity,” requiring schools to ignore the biological distinction between male and female in favor of “an individual’s sense of their gender.” Under this rule, schools will have to allow males who identify as female to enter girls’ private spaces like restrooms, locker rooms, and showers and—despite logically inconsistent disclaimers saying otherwise—to play on girls’ sports teams. The new rule also requires the school district to enforce policies restricting students’ and employees’ free-speech rights.

Carroll Independent School District adopted a resolution denouncing the rule change, emphasizing that the rule could “jeopardiz[e] the safety and well-being of students.”

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

May 14, 2024

Victorious female athlete with fist raised

State of Kansas v. U.S. Department of Education

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, together with attorneys general from three other states, Alliance Defending Freedom, and private groups of parents, students, and female athletes, filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration for its attempt to rewrite Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for students in education and athletics.

ADF attorneys are representing Female Athletes United, an organization made up of female athletes and other supporters of women’s sports, and Katie Rowland, a 13-year-old student who had to stop using the restrooms at her Oklahoma public school for a time because the school allowed males who identify as female to access this private space. In addition, two other groups, Moms for Liberty and Young America’s Foundation, also joined the lawsuit. Together, they formed a broad coalition to challenge the administration’s attempt to redefine “sex” in federal law to include “gender identity,” and to protect privacy, safety, free speech, and fairness for students and teachers.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

May 14, 2024

Pediatrician doctor doing a checkup on a baby

McComb Children's Clinic v. Becerra

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a Mississippi children’s clinic filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after the agency adopted a rule that forces medical caregivers to provide and promote harmful procedures or face severe financial consequences.

McComb Children’s Clinic is a pediatrics practice that serves the McComb, Mississippi, community. The clinic’s pediatricians work with parents to provide compassionate, comprehensive services to children from birth through adolescence. On May 6, the Biden administration published a rule change that redefines “sex” in federal health care nondiscrimination law to include “gender identity.” Because McComb Children’s Clinic is committed to children’s health based on their actual biology—and because the clinic is following state law which prohibits so-called “gender transition” procedures on minors—the rule change forces it to lose federal funding or risk severe penalties unless it provides, promotes, or refers for harmful procedures, which it will not do.

Doctors should be allowed to fulfill their Hippocratic Oath to do no harm and follow sound medical judgment without fear of government overreach.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

May 14, 2024

Former college athlete Sophia Lorey

Moms for Liberty-Yolo County v. Lopez

Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom and the Institute for Free Speech reached a favorable settlement agreement with Yolo County Library officials after they shutdown an event at a local library to discuss the harms of allowing men to participate in women’s sports.

As part of the settlement, library officials agreed to change their policy to mandate that staff “shall not interfere with presentations or other speech by individuals or groups that have reserved meeting rooms based on the content of such speech” and to instruct staff to “curtail any disruptive behavior” during events. The officials also agreed to allow Moms for Liberty – Yolo County, Independent Council on Women’s Sports, California Family Council, and other parental rights and women’s advocates to use the library to hold their event again, which took place on April 13, this time without incident. Finally, the officials agreed to pay $70,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

May 7, 2024

Female high school athlete Amelia Ford standing in front of an American flag
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Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom

State of Arkansas v. U.S. Department of Education

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, together with attorneys general from five other states and Alliance Defending Freedom, filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration for its attempt to rewrite Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for students in education and athletics. In the case, ADF attorneys represent Amelia Ford, a female high school athlete from Arkansas.

Following the publication of the administration’s rule, the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota filed suit, challenging the administration’s attempt to redefine “sex” in federal law to include “gender identity.” This effort to rewrite federal law jeopardizes privacy, safety, free speech, and fairness for students and teachers.

Press Release Case Documents
 

May 7, 2024

A New Mexico law requires doctors to facilitate physician-assisted suicide regardless of their beliefs

State of Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The State of Florida and Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the Catholic Medical Association filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after the agency adopted a rule that forces medical professionals and insurance providers to perform or pay for harmful so-called “gender transition” procedures or face severe financial consequences. ADF attorneys joined Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody in immediately challenging the Biden administration’s unlawful rule.

Press Release Case Documents
 

May 6, 2024

Female athlete hurdling in track and field

State of Tennessee v. Cardona

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a motion asking a Kentucky federal district court to allow A.C., a high school athlete from West Virginia, and Christian Educators Association International, an association of teachers, to join a lawsuit suing the Biden administration over its recent attempt to rewrite Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for students in education and athletics.

A.C. has already lost key opportunities to a male student on her track team and had to endure that student’s vulgar sexual comments while on the team. Christian Educators now face threats to their free speech and right to access sex-specific spaces like bathrooms without encountering someone of the opposite sex.

Following the publication of the administration’s rule, six states, including Tennessee and West Virginia, filed a lawsuit challenging the administration’s attempt to redefine “sex” in federal law to include “gender identity.” This attempt to rewrite federal law jeopardizes privacy, safety, free speech, and fairness for students and teachers.

Press Release Case Documents
 

April 30, 2024

Girl with a backpack getting on the school bus

Rapides Parish School Board

On behalf of a Louisiana school board serving more than 20,000 students, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration for unlawfully rewriting Title IX.

The Biden administration announced it was redefining “sex” in Title IX rules to include “gender identity,” requiring schools to ignore the biological distinction between male and female in favor of “an individual’s sense of their gender.” The Department of Education’s fundamental and radical rewriting of federal law forces schools across the country to embrace a controversial gender ideology that harms children—including the very children it claims to help. Schools will have to allow males who identify as female to enter girls’ private spaces like bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers; to participate in girls’ physical education classes; and—despite logically inconsistent disclaimers saying otherwise—to play on girls’ sports teams.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

April 25, 2024

Dr. David Phillips, former professor at North Carolina Governor's School

Dr. David Phillips

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have favorably settled a lawsuit on behalf of a professor fired by North Carolina education officials after he spoke out about the harms of the racially divisive ideology the school was embracing.

As dictated by the settlement agreement, the North Carolina Governor’s School has paid Dr. David Phillips approximately four years of his annual stipend and adopted a policy to respect faculty free speech in its elective seminars—like the ones Phillips gave shortly before he was fired. The policy affirms the Governor’s School’s desire “to offer elective seminars that present a wide range of viewpoints.” And it states that the school “accords faculty members the freedom and responsibility to craft academic and intellectual experiences that reflect their unique viewpoints and expertise.”

In light of the settlement, ADF attorneys filed a voluntary dismissal of the case.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

April 24, 2024

Lockers are seen lining an empty school hallway

E.D. v. Noblesville School District

An Indiana high school student, E.D., and her pro-life student group are appealing a court decision against them in a lawsuit they filed after school officials derecognized the group because the student sought permission to post flyers that administrators found objectionable.

In August 2021, the student met with the principal of Noblesville High School to form a chapter of Students for Life of America. After E.D. completed all required steps, the school officially recognized the group. A few weeks later, though, E.D. sought permission to post flyers using a Students for Life of America template that included photographs of students holding signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court reading, “I Reject Abortion,” “Defund Planned Parenthood,” and “I Am the Pro-Life Generation.” School staff insisted that she post the flyers without the pictures, telling her that the flyer could not be “political.” The same day E.D. met with an administrator about the flyers, the principal derecognized the group.

On behalf of E.D., Alliance Defending Freedom and Charitable Allies attorneys are appealing the lower court’s decision that restricts free speech for students.

Press Release Case Documents
 

April 24, 2024

Lainey Armistead sitting with soccer ball

B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that his office and Alliance Defending Freedom will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case defending West Virginia’s commonsense law preventing men from competing in women’s sports.

In 2021, West Virginia passed the Save Women’s Sports Act, which ensures equal opportunities for women and girls in sports and protects their safety by making sure they are not forced to compete against males. The law was challenged in court by the ACLU, and ADF intervened in the lawsuit on behalf of Lainey Armistead, a former collegiate athlete who played soccer at West Virginia State University.

Although a federal district court ruled in favor of the West Virginia law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit stripped West Virginia of its ability to protect fairness in women’s sports. ADF is now asking the Supreme Court to reverse the 4th Circuit’s decision and make it clear that West Virginia’s law should be enforced and that Title IX’s promise of protecting equal opportunities for women and girls in sports must be upheld.

Press Release  Explainer  Case Documents
 

April 24, 2024

Idaho doctors holding signs in front of SCOTUS

State of Idaho v. United States of America

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in State of Idaho v. United States of America. The Office of the Idaho Attorney General, with the assistance of experienced Supreme Court litigators from ADF and Cooper & Kirk PLLC, is asking the nation’s High Court to prevent the Biden administration from manipulating federal law to override Idaho’s Defense of Life Act.

In 2020, Idaho passed the Defense of Life Act to protect the lives of women and their unborn children, preventing doctors from performing abortions unless necessary to save the life of the mother. But in August 2022, the Biden administration sued the State, attempting to use the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) to force Idaho emergency room doctors to violate state law and perform abortions. But EMTALA says nothing about abortion and actually requires that emergency rooms provide care for pregnant women and their “unborn child[ren].”

Both laws are consistent and seek to save lives. The Supreme Court should end the Biden administration’s lawlessness and uphold Idaho’s decision to protect life.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

April 15, 2024

Mother with her two children walking down a path to school

Labrador v. Poe

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled to narrow a lower court’s order to apply only to the challengers and allow Idaho to otherwise enforce its law that protects children from harmful and experimental drugs and procedures. Although activists challenged only certain parts of Idaho’s commonsense law prohibiting so-called “gender transition” drugs and procedures for minors, the lower court stopped the state from enforcing its entire law statewide. This prevented Idaho from even protecting young children from irreversible drugs and surgeries that disfigure their bodies and stop their natural development. The Supreme Court’s ruling allows Idaho to protect children as the case proceeds.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

April 9, 2024

Mother kissing baby's hand

Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Mayes

In a victory for life, the Arizona Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision and upheld the state’s pro-life law as written.

The lower court’s ruling misinterpreted state law, against its plain meaning, to allow abortion in circumstances where the Arizona legislature prohibited it. It also enjoined officials from fully enforcing the state’s pro-life law to protect unborn children. The Arizona Supreme Court reversed this ruling, allowing the law to be enforced as written.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Dr. Eric Hazelrigg, an obstetrician and medical director of Choices Pregnancy Center in Arizona. In 2022, the Arizona Superior Court of Pima County appointed Dr. Hazelrigg as the substitute guardian ad litem to legally represent the best interests of unborn children in Arizona. In 2023, he filed a petition asking the state Supreme Court to review the Arizona Court of Appeals ruling.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

March 26, 2024

Erin Hawley speaking in front of the Supreme Court after FDA oral arguments
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Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom

Holding the FDA Accountable at SCOTUS

Today, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of the Center for Life & Regulatory Practice Erin Hawley argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine.

ADF is representing four national medical associations, their members, and four individual doctors against the FDA for unlawfully removing crucial safety standards for pregnant women who use abortion drugs. Over the past eight years, the agency has removed nearly all of its originally required safety standards that ensured women and girls had ongoing in-person medical care while taking these high-risk drugs, all the while acknowledging that roughly one in 25 women who take these drugs will end up in the emergency room.

Women should have the ongoing in-person care of a doctor when taking high-risk drugs, and the U.S. Supreme Court should affirm the 5th Circuit’s decision to hold the FDA accountable for unlawfully failing to protect the health and safety of women and girls.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

March 25, 2024

Jennifer and Shane DeGross

Shane and Jennifer DeGross

After taking in vulnerable children for over nine years as foster parents, Shane and Jennifer DeGross sought to renew their foster-care license in 2022, hoping to continue serving as respite-care providers. During that process, they learned that the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) had enacted new regulations requiring all foster parents to express progressive views on human sexuality. Among other things, parents must agree to use inaccurate pronouns for a child based on the child’s professed gender identity and take children to events like pride parades.

Because of their Christian faith, the DeGrosses told their licensing agency, Olive Crest, that they would love and support any child placed in their home but could not lie to a child about who they are or encourage a child to reject their sex. Olive Crest sought an exemption from DCYF on the DeGrosses’ behalf, but DCYF officials rejected their application even after Olive Crest made more than one attempt to appeal the denial. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the DeGrosses against the state of Washington.

Every child deserves a loving home. Children suffer when the government discriminates and excludes people of faith from adoption and foster care.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

March 22, 2024

Chelsea Mynyk (L), licensed nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife, owner of Castle Rock Women's Health, with a patient.
Resonate Films

Bella Health and Wellness v. Weiser

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a motion asking a Colorado federal court to allow Chelsea Mynyk, a licensed nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife, to intervene in a lawsuit to defend her use of providing patients with abortion pill reversal (APR). The protocol is a safe and effective treatment for women who change their minds about abortion and is used to reverse the effects of chemical abortion drugs, saving the unborn child.

In April 2023, Colorado enacted a law that prohibits doctors and nurses from providing abortion pill reversal, forcing women to undergo abortions they wish to avoid. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty sued Colorado on behalf of Bella Health and Wellness, a pro-life pregnancy center, and secured a preliminary injunction that prevents Colorado’s law from being enacted while the lawsuit continues. However, the injunction only applied to Bella Health and Wellness.

Mynyk runs her own clinic, Castle Rock Women’s Health, where she provides reproductive health care services to women. Mynyk, like Bella Health and Wellness, believes that she is compelled by her faith to provide APR to women who request it. She has requested to intervene in the lawsuit to defend her right to make sure she and other medical professionals can continue their life-saving work through APR.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

March 18, 2024

Calvary Road Baptist Church building

Calvary Road Baptist Church v. Miyares

In settlement of an Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit, Virginia officials have acknowledged that commonwealth law protects religious organizations’ ability to operate consistent with their faith.

In 2020, ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit on behalf of two Virginia churches, three Christian schools, and a pregnancy center network to challenge a Virginia law that forced nonprofit ministries to abandon their core convictions in hiring and other policies or face fines up to $100,000 for each violation.

As part of the settlement agreement, Virginia officials conceded that all of the ministries, as religious organizations, are free to only hire “individuals who profess and live according to religious beliefs held by [the ministries], including beliefs on abortion, marriage, sexuality, sex, and gender.” Further, Virginia officials agreed that commonwealth law protects the ministries from having to pay for or facilitate any gender dysphoria treatment that violates their religious teachings. Examples include puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, so-called “sex reassignment” surgeries, or any other “gender transition” procedures.

Press Release Case Documents
 

March 5, 2024

ADF SVP Jeremy Tedesco testifies before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government

ADF Testifies to Congress on the Dangers of De-banking

ADF Senior Counsel and SVP of Corporate Engagement Jeremy Tedesco was invited to testify before the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on the growing threat of de-banking, a practice of denying financial services based on a customer’s religious or political views. Tedesco explained that underlying these cancelations are vague and subjective policies that banks and government banking regulators can use to withdraw financial services based on a customer’s exercise of his or her First Amendment rights.

The Subcommittee also obtained documents that reveal that, as part of its efforts to urge financial institutions to monitor their customers to identify domestic threats, the U.S. Department of the Treasury shared a list of “hate groups” published by the hyper-partisan Institute for Strategic Dialogue. The list includes ADF and numerous other mainstream religious and conservative organizations that the federal government has associated with “domestic terrorists” and targeted for surveillance by major banks.

Press Release Read Jeremy's Testimony What is De-banking?
 

March 5, 2024

Youth 71Five Ministries Liberty Partk Community Center

Youth 71Five Ministries v. Williams

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against Oregon state officials on behalf of a youth ministry that was stripped of state grant funding because it asks employees and volunteers to sign a statement of faith.

71Five Ministries serves young people in Oregon of all faiths and backgrounds, including at-risk youth, young people in detention centers and correctional facilities, and expectant and parenting teens. The ministry’s mission statement says it “exists to share God’s Story of Hope with young people through trusting relationships in any relevant way.” While the ministry serves all people, it achieves its goal through employees and volunteers who share its mission and beliefs, as outlined by its statement of faith. 71Five Ministries has previously applied for—and been granted—funds from Oregon’s biennial Youth Community Investment Grants program. But when it applied for 2023-2025 funding, the ministry was first approved and then denied funding due to a new rule that requires that applicants “do not discriminate” based on religion “in [their] employment practices.”

71Five Ministries is asking the court to protect its freedom to work with like-minded individuals who share and live out its religious beliefs and mission to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through its various youth mentorship programs.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

March 5, 2024

David Bloch
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Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom

David Bloch

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys reached a favorable settlement agreement with the Vermont Agency of Education, the Vermont Principals’ Association, and a Vermont school district on behalf of David Bloch, a high-school snowboarding coach.

In 2023, the district fired Bloch for respectfully expressing his view that males are biologically different than females and that those differences generally give males an advantage in sports. The district claimed that expressing his views violated the state-mandated Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying policy.

As part of the settlement, state and school officials agreed to pay $75,000 for terminating Coach Bloch’s job after he expressed his views. Both the Agency of Education and school district admitted that Coach Bloch’s conversation did not violate the policy.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

March 4, 2024

A doctor wearing a lab coat writes notes

Christian Employers Alliance

In a victory for religious employers, a federal district court ruled that the Biden administration cannot force non-profit and for-profit religious employers and healthcare providers to violate their religious beliefs by paying for and performing harmful “gender transition” surgeries, procedures, counseling, and treatments.

In 2021, ADF filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Christian Employers Alliance (CEA) against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Both agencies misinterpreted and improperly threatened enforcement of prohibitions against “sex discrimination” as if they included “gender identity discrimination.” These mandates would have forced religious employers to provide health insurance coverage for “gender transition” surgeries and procedures, and they would have coerced religious healthcare providers who receive federal funding to physically perform or facilitate surgeries and procedures that conflict with their deeply held beliefs.

The federal court ruled in CEA’s favor, saying, “CEA’s religious beliefs are substantially burdened by the monetary penalties it faces for refusing to violate its beliefs.” The ruling blocks EEOC or HHS from punishing any CEA member under these mandates.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

February 26, 2024

radio mic

National Religious Broadcasters Noncommercial Music License Committee v. Copyright Royalty Board and Librarian of Congress

Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom and Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth asked the U.S. Supreme Court Friday to hear the case of religious broadcasters challenging government officials’ discrimination against their speech by charging them exponentially higher rates to stream music online than secular National Public Radio broadcasters.

In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that set rates that are 18 times higher for religious noncommercial webcasters with an audience above a modest 218-listener threshold than the average rate for secular NPR stations. The lawsuit argues that this favoritism unfairly suppresses religious speakers and their religious speech online and violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

February 21, 2024

A group of college students is seen walking through campus at sunset

Turning Point USA at SUNY Cortland v. Cortland College Student Association

Alliance Defending Freedom is representing two students and their Turning Point USA chapter against State University of New York Cortland officials and the student government association for withholding recognized student organization status because of TPUSA’s views.

During the fall semester, SUNY Cortland students Gabriella Delorenzo and Megan Rothmund assembled with other students to form a TPUSA chapter at the university to bring together students who value freedom, free markets, and limited government. But the Student Government’s Student Senate withheld recognized group status to the chapter because some students and a professor disagreed with the national TPUSA organization’s views. When the students raised the issue with SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum, he warned that they would likely be denied if they applied again, telling them, “We silence voices all the time in this country. That’s the tragedy and also the greatness of democracy.”

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

February 19, 2024

Kids walking on the sidewalk with backpacks

Labrador v. Poe

Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, with the assistance of attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom and Cooper & Kirk, filed an emergency motion asking the U.S. Supreme Court to narrow a lower court’s order and allow Idaho to otherwise enforce its Vulnerable Child Protection Act. The law protects children from dangerous and often irreversible drugs and procedures that block their natural development and remove healthy body parts.

Although the activists have only challenged certain parts of Idaho’s commonsense law, the lower court stopped Idaho from enforcing its entire law state-wide, prohibiting the state from even protecting children under age five from surgeries that disfigure their bodies. Idaho is now appealing to the Supreme Court.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

January 31, 2024

Kristen Waggoner, CEO, President, and General Counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom

Celebrating 30 Years

“For 30 years, ADF has been privileged to contend for truth and freedom in law, policy, and the public square and to help equip an alliance to do the same. By God’s grace, we stand today as the world’s largest legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, the sanctity of life, parental rights, and marriage and family. Since 2011, ADF has served as counsel in 15 U.S. Supreme Court victories and dozens of victories in international tribunals. We remain relentlessly committed to advancing every person’s God-given right to live and speak the truth.”

Kristen Waggoner—CEO, president, and general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom

30th Anniversary Page
 

January 31, 2024

Teen girl with backpack and books

Vitsaxaki v. Skaneateles Central School District

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed suit against a New York school district after officials there began treating a middle-school girl as a boy without her mother’s knowledge or consent.

Jennifer Vitsaxaki withdrew her daughter from Skaneateles Central School District when the 2020-2021 school year concluded once she learned that school employees had begun to treat her daughter as a boy. Without notifying Mrs. Vitsaxaki or seeking her consent, employees began to refer to her daughter with a masculine name and third-person plural pronouns inconsistent with her daughter’s sex. When Mrs. Vitsaxaki confronted school officials, they defended their actions, citing district policy.

By socially transitioning Mrs. Vitsaxaki’s daughter without her consent and by concealing vital information about her daughter’s health and well-being, the district violated Mrs. Vitsaxaki’s fundamental parental rights and her deeply held religious beliefs protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

January 16, 2024

Dayspring Christian Learning Center wall

Church of Compassion v. Johnson

In a victory for religious liberty, attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Center for Law and Policy, and Advocates for Faith and Freedom have reached a favorable settlement with California state officials on behalf of Church of Compassion and Dayspring Christian Learning Center.

In 2022, California officials—relying in part on the Biden administration’s reinterpretation of federal law—unlawfully suspended the church and preschool from participating in the Child and Adult Food Care Program simply because of their religious beliefs about human sexuality. Church of Compassion and Dayspring help feed needy children in its daycare and preschool during the school year and summer. El Cajon, where the church and preschool are located, has a large immigrant population, and many of the families served by the church and preschool qualify for free meals under the food program.

As part of the settlement, the officials acknowledged that Church of Compassion and Dayspring Christian Learning Center, as faith-based organizations, are free to continue participating in the federal food program while following their religious beliefs. The officials also agreed to reimburse the church over $30,000 for the money it paid out of pocket to continue providing meals for families while it was unlawfully kicked out of the program, and agreed to pay $160,000 to cover the church’s attorneys’ fees.

Press Release Explainer Case Documents
 

January 5, 2024

A mother and father are seen with their newborn baby in a hospital room

State of Idaho v. United States of America

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a case in which the Biden administration is attempting to require Idaho’s emergency room doctors to violate state law.

Idaho’s Defense of Life Act protects the lives of women and their unborn children, preventing doctors from performing abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother. But in 2022, the Biden Administration sued Idaho, claiming that it could use the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) to force emergency room doctors to perform abortions. But EMTALA says nothing about abortion and actually requires that emergency rooms provide life-saving care to everyone regardless of ability to pay, including pregnant women and their “unborn child[ren].”

After a lower court prevented Idaho from enforcing its law, the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, together with ADF and Cooper & Kirk, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent the Biden administration from continuing to misuse EMTALA to force doctors to take vulnerable lives. The Court agreed to hear the case and allowed Idaho to continue to protect women and their unborn children as the litigation continues. The Supreme Court will hear argument in this case in April.

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January 2, 2024

Pediatrician doctor doing a checkup on a baby

State of Texas v. Becerra

In a pivotal victory for women, children, and healthcare professionals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that the Biden administration cannot misuse federal law to force emergency room doctors to take vulnerable lives.

ADF attorneys representing the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, alongside the state of Texas, asked the court to keep in place a lower court ruling halting the Biden administration from distorting the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) to force doctors to perform abortions and refuse life-saving care to unborn children. The appeals court unanimously agreed the administration acted unlawfully. Doctors should be free to save people’s lives, not end them, including pregnant women and their unborn children.

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December 21, 2023

Girl with a backpack getting on the school bus

Roe v. Critchfield

Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, together with attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom, filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, urging it to uphold a district court decision that allowed Idaho to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all K-12 students in public school’s locker rooms, showers, restrooms, and overnight stays.

In March 2023, Idaho enacted a law protecting children’s privacy by ensuring that sex-specific facilities in K-12 public schools like showers, locker rooms, restrooms, and overnight accommodations remained sex-specific, while allowing single-user facilities for those who prefer otherwise. But activists sued Idaho State Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield and the state board of education in July demanding that K-12 public schools force girls to share private spaces with men and vice-versa. After a lower court ruled to uphold Idaho’s common-sense law, the activists appealed, and the 9th Circuit granted them an injunction pending appeal, halting enforcement of the law.

ADF is urging the 9th Circuit to uphold Idaho’s law and protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of girls and boys.

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December 18, 2023

Parents Dan and Jennifer Mead

Mead v. Rockford Public School District

Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit against a Michigan school district on behalf of a mother and father after district employees began treating the couple’s middle-school daughter as a boy without their knowledge or consent and taking steps to conceal these actions from the parents.

Dan and Jennifer Mead withdrew their daughter from the eighth grade at East Rockford Middle School in October 2022 after district employees, acting in compliance with Rockford Public School District policy, treated their daughter as a boy by referring to her by a masculine name and male pronouns without notifying the Meads or seeking their consent. Employees had altered some of the girl’s official records to remove references to the district’s new name and pronouns for her before sending the records home. The Meads only discovered the district’s actions when an employee unintentionally failed to completely alter a report about their daughter before sharing it with them.

The U.S. Constitution protects the Meads’ right as parents to make decisions about the upbringing, education, and health care of their children. By concealing this important information, the district violated their fundamental parental rights.

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December 18, 2023

First Choice Women's Resource Center
First Choice Women’s Resource Centers

First Choice Women's Resource Centers v. Platkin

Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit against New Jersey’s attorney general on behalf of a Christian, pro-life, medical nonprofit that serves pregnant mothers, mothers of newborns, and fathers.

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin selectively targeted First Choice Women’s Resource Centers based on its religious speech and pro-life views with a wide-ranging, unfounded, and burdensome subpoena that requires the organization to expend its limited resources to produce extensive documentation or face judicial sanctions. The attorney general does not refer to any substantive evidence of wrongdoing to justify his onerous demands.

Platkin also sought help from Planned Parenthood to draft his office’s consumer alert warning New Jerseyans about pregnancy centers. The attorney general’s demands violate the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and are designed to leverage the threat of sanctions under New Jersey law to frustrate First Choice’s pro-life ministry.

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December 15, 2023

Steve and Bridget Tennes on their farm

Country Mill Farms

To settle a lawsuit brought by a Catholic farmer, the city of East Lansing has agreed to protect Country Mill Farms’ constitutional right to operate according to its religious beliefs and also agreed to pay $825,000 ($41,199 in damages and $783,801 in attorneys’ fees).

In 2017, after Steve Tennes posted on Facebook that he follows the Catholic Church’s teachings about marriage, including when he participates in weddings at his family’s farm, city officials enacted a new market policy to prohibit Tennes and Country Mill Farms from participating in the city’s farmer’s market. In August 2023, a federal district court ruled that the city had violated the Tennes’s Free Exercise rights.

As part of the settlement agreement, the city of East Lansing agreed that Tennes is free to continue running his business in accordance with his religious beliefs about marriage without jeopardizing his ability to participate in the city’s farmer’s market.

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December 15, 2023

ADF female athlete clients Alanna Smith, Chelsea Mitchell, and Selina Soule

Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit reinstated the case of four female athletes—Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith, and Ashley Nicoletti—challenging a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference policy that allows males who identify as female to compete in girls’ athletic events. All four athletes have been deprived of placements, honors, or opportunities to compete at elite track-and-field levels by male athletes permitted to compete against them.

The 2nd Circuit ruling revives the lawsuit and allows the case to proceed in federal district court. There, the female athletes will seek a merits ruling in favor of fairness and equal opportunities for female athletes under Title IX.

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December 14, 2023

Peter Vlaming’s school district made him choose between speaking against his conscience or losing the job he loved.

Peter Vlaming

In a sweeping victory for free speech and religious freedom, the Virginia Supreme Court reinstated Peter Vlaming’s lawsuit against the West Point School Board, overturning a circuit court’s decision to dismiss it.

Peter Vlaming had taught French at West Point High School for nearly six years and always received glowing reviews. But the school board fired Vlaming after he stated he couldn’t in good conscience comply with the superintendent’s demand that he refer to one of his students using pronouns inconsistent with the student’s sex. Vlaming tried to accommodate the student by consistently using the student’s new preferred name and by avoiding the use of pronouns. But school officials ordered him to stop avoiding the use of pronouns to refer to the student, even when the student wasn’t present, and to start using pronouns inconsistent with the student’s sex. Because Vlaming couldn’t comply with that demand in good conscience, the school fired him.

Thankfully, in its ruling, the Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed Vlaming’s constitutional right not to be forced to pledge “verbal allegiance to ideological views that violate [his] sincerely held religious beliefs.” The case will be sent back to the trial court for further proceedings.

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December 13, 2023

Dr. Donna Harrison, Dr. Shaun Jester, Dr. Tyler Johnson, and Dr. Christina Francis,doctors experienced in caring for pregnant and post-abortive women
https://admin.adflegal.org/terms-and-conditions
https://admin.adflegal.org/terms-and-conditions
Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom

U.S. Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine

Following petitions from the Biden administration and Danco Laboratories, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear ADF’s case challenging the FDA’s removal of critical safeguards for the chemical abortion drug regimen. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and a federal court in Texas already ruled in ADF’s favor, agreeing that the FDA’s actions in eliminating safeguards for women and authorizing dangerous mail-order chemical abortion drugs were unlawful.

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December 11, 2023

Brian Tingley stands outside smiling

Brian Tingley

Sadly, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case of Brian Tingley, who was challenging Washington state’s counseling censorship law. The Ninth Circuit upheld this law which censors and prohibits certain private client-counselor conversations regarding sexual orientation and gender identity that the government disfavors while allowing—even encouraging—conversations the government favors.

Such a law violates Brian’s freedom of speech and infringes on his religious freedom and that of his clients, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has held such laws unconstitutional. Justices Thomas, Kavanaugh, and Alito dissented in the denial of certiorari, noting that 20 other states and the District of Columbia have similar laws. The issue isn’t going away, and the Court will likely have to rule whether such laws violate the First Amendment in the future.

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December 5, 2023

Former college athlete Sophia Lorey

Moms for Liberty - Yolo County v. Lopez

ADF and the Institute for Free Speech filed a lawsuit against Yolo County Library officials for violating the First Amendment rights of several women and their groups who met in a local library to discuss the harms of allowing men to participate in women’s sports.

Moms for Liberty–Yolo County, Independent Council on Women’s Sports, California Family Council, and several parental rights and women’s advocates are challenging library officials for removing them from a public building during an event hosted by the Moms for Liberty chapter. A library official shut down the forum after only a few minutes, claiming that referring to male athletes in women’s sports as “men” violates library policy.

Free speech is for everyone. Women have the right to speak out about their concerns about men participating in their sports, and library officials can’t silence their speech simply because they disagree with it.

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November 30, 2023

A pregnant woman stands by a window.

Obria Group v. Ferguson

Alliance Defending Freedom is representing two faith-based, pro-life nonprofits against the attorney general of Washington state for conducting an unconstitutional and unlawful investigation into the organizations’ privileged records and materials, singling out the nonprofits because of their life-affirming views.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued civil investigative demands that dictate that Obria Group and Obria Medical Groups PNW provide answers to questions and production of documents spanning 13 years under the pretense of conducting a civil investigation into “possible” violations of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. The information and documentation demanded by the civil investigative demands is so expansive that they would sweep up massive amounts of information and confidential internal communications and documents that are unrelated to the attorney general’s stated purpose for the investigation, or beyond the statute of limitations.

Such unreasonably overbroad, invasive, selective, and burdensome investigative demands violate the pro-life organizations’ constitutional rights.

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November 21, 2023

The inside of the Mid Vermont Christian School gym is seen

Mid Vermont Christian School

ADF filed a federal lawsuit against Vermont officials for denying Mid Vermont Christian School and its students from participating in the state’s tuition program and sports league because of their religious beliefs about gender and sexuality.

Vermont, through its Agency of Education and the Vermont Principals’ Association, is requiring private, religious schools like Mid Vermont Christian to adopt the state’s view on human sexuality and gender as a condition to participate in the state’s tuition program and athletic association. Doing so violates the First Amendment rights of Mid Vermont Christian, its students and families, and other faith-based schools by preventing them from practicing their religious beliefs.

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November 21, 2023

A brick church is seen on a bright sunny day with clouds behind the steeple

Drummond v. Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board

ADF filed a brief with the Oklahoma Supreme Court opposing a petition filed by the state attorney general. In the case, Attorney General Gentner Drummond is asking the court to cancel the contract that the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board entered with St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School solely because St. Isidore is Catholic.

On June 5, the board approved a revised application to establish St. Isidore as a statewide virtual charter school. Attorney General Drummond filed a lawsuit last month against the board, claiming it violated state law. But, as ADF attorneys explain in their brief, the board members took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that religious groups cannot be excluded from generally available programs solely because of their religious character.

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November 20, 2023

A pregnant woman is seen at an appointment

State of Idaho v. United States of America

Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, together with attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom and Cooper & Kirk, filed an emergency application for stay pending appeal last Monday with the Supreme Court.

In the case, the Biden administration is putting pregnant women and unborn children at risk by unlawfully attempting to force doctors to perform dangerous abortions that are illegal under Idaho’s Defense of Life Act. The emergency application asks the nation’s high court to respect Idaho’s decision to protect the lives of women and their unborn children and immediately halt a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that held that the administration could misuse the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act to force emergency room doctors to facilitate abortion.

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November 14, 2023

Finnish MP Dr. Päivi Räsänen faced an accusation of ‘hate speech’ for tweeting a picture of some Bible verses directed towards the national church of Finland.

Päivi Räsänen

In a victory for free speech, the Helsinki Court of Appeal has dismissed all charges against Finnish Member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola, who were both tried for “hate speech” in August after publicly expressing their Christian beliefs. The unanimous appeals court ruling upheld the district court’s March 2022 unanimous acquittal.

Räsänen, Finland’s former Interior Minister and a grandmother of 11, was formally charged with “agitation against a minority group” in 2021 for sharing her Christian beliefs on marriage and sexual ethics in a 2019 tweet, in addition to a 2019 live radio debate and 2004 church pamphlet. Pohjola was charged for publishing Räsänen’s 2004 pamphlet. The case has garnered global media attention as human rights experts voiced concern over the threat posed to free speech.

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November 6, 2023

Bob Updegrove sitting at a table with his camera

Bob Updegrove

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis, ADF has successfully settled a lawsuit on behalf of Virginia photographer Bob Updegrove.

Back in 2020, Updegrove filed suit challenging the so-called Virginia Values Act that would have required him to offer and create photography celebrating same-sex weddings because he offered to create photography celebrating opposite-sex weddings. The prior Attorney General of Virginia defended the law’s reach to expressive artists like Updegrove, which went so far as to prohibit Updegrove from publicly explaining on his studio’s own website his religious reasons for only celebrating wedding ceremonies between a man and a woman. The law also threatened initial fines of up to $50,000 and then $100,000 per additional violation, along with court orders that could have forced Updegrove to create photography for events that went against his conscience if he wanted to stay in business.

Thankfully, as part of the settlement, Virginia officials acknowledged that—as the Supreme Court affirmed in 303 Creative—the Constitution protects Updegrove’s right to create wedding photography consistent with his beliefs and that he is free to communicate his business policy regarding his religious beliefs on marriage.

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October 23, 2023

Darren Patterson Christian Academy

Darren Patterson Christian Academy v. Roy

A federal district court ruled to allow Darren Patterson Christian Academy to participate in Colorado’s universal preschool program consistent with its religious beliefs while the school’s lawsuit proceeds.

Earlier this year, Darren Patterson Christian Academy applied for and obtained approval to participate in Colorado’s new universal preschool program, which guarantees every four-year-old in the state at least 15 hours per week of state-funded preschool services for this school year. The Colorado Department of Early Childhood, however, mandated that, for the school to participate in the program and receive critical state funding, it must hire employees who do not share its faith and alter internal rules and policies that are based on the school’s religious beliefs about sexuality and gender—including those that relate to restroom usage, pronouns, dress codes, and student housing during expeditions and field trips. To protect its ability to participate in the program without compromising its religious beliefs, the school requested an exemption in May of this year, but the department denied that request.

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October 3, 2023

ADF's clients (mother and daughter) in the Kettle Moraine case

T.F. and B.F. v. Kettle Moraine School District

In a victory for parental rights, a Wisconsin court ruled that Kettle Moraine School District’s policy of changing students’ names and using new pronouns at school without parental consent (and over parents’ objection) violates parents’ rights.

In November 2021, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys challenged the policy on behalf of two sets of Wisconsin parents. One of the couples suing the school district was forced to withdraw their then 12-year-old daughter from the district to protect her mental health and preserve their parental role. The district violated their constitutionally protected freedoms by insisting that school staff use a male name and male pronouns to address their daughter at school regardless of the parents’ objection. The other couple joined the lawsuit to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to their children.

Parents have the right to direct the upbringing of their children. School officials do not have the right to make major decisions about a child’s mental health without the parents’ knowledge and consent.

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October 3, 2023

Jack Phillips is seen decorating a cake at Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado

Jack Phillips

The Colorado Supreme Court agreed to take the case of cake artist Jack Phillips and his business Masterpiece Cakeshop, the third such lawsuit to target them.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis that upheld free speech for all, ADF attorneys filed a supplemental notice with the Colorado Supreme Court asking it to apply that ruling and similarly affirm Phillips’ free speech rights in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop. An activist attorney and Colorado officials have misused the same state law that was at issue in 303 Creative to punish Phillips for more than a decade.

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October 3, 2023

Liam Morrison wearing a shirt that says 'There are only censored genders'

Liam Morrison

Sixteen states and a number of advocacy organizations have united in support of Liam Morrison’s freedom of speech in friend-of-the-court briefs filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit. After a district court ruled against Liam in August, ADF attorneys appealed to the 1st Circuit.

In May, ADF and the Massachusetts Family Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of Morrison. After he wore a t-shirt to school saying, “There are only two genders,” the principal of the school, along with a school counselor, pulled Morrison out of class and ordered him to remove his shirt. After he politely declined, school officials said that he must remove the shirt to return to class. As a result, Morrison left school and missed the rest of his classes that day. Once school officials censored his original message, Morrison chose to wear an altered shirt that reads, “There are censored genders” to protest the fact that only some messages about gender are allowed. As soon as Morrison arrived at school, his teacher instructed him to go to the principal’s office, where he was told that he could not wear that shirt at school either.

Students don’t forfeit their free speech when they walk into the school building.

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September 21, 2023

A school district in Kansas tried to force teacher Pam Ricard to be dishonest with students and parents

Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee v. Statewide Virtual Charter School Board

ADF filed a motion on behalf of Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee. The motion seeks to defend the board’s decision to allow religious groups to seek public funding for privately operated charter schools, as protected by the First Amendment.

On June 5, the board approved a revised application to establish St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School as a statewide virtual charter school. The Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee then sued to overturn the board’s approval of St. Isidore. However, as ADF attorneys explain in the motion to dismiss, the case is premature because many of the steps necessary to establish St. Isidore as a statewide virtual charter school have not yet occurred.

Oklahoma law and the U.S. Constitution protect St. Isidore’s freedom to operate according to its faith and the school board’s decision to approve such learning options for Oklahoma families.

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September 7, 2023

Queen of Angels Store Front

Queen of Angels Catholic Bookstore

To settle a federal lawsuit brought by Alliance Defending Freedom, the city of Jacksonville has agreed that Queen of Angels Catholic Bookstore is an exempt religious organization under city law and Title VII. As such, the for-profit bookstore is now free to operate according to its Catholic beliefs.

In February 2023, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of the bookstore challenging a city law that threatened to silence the religious views of the bookstore and its owner, Christie DeTrude, and to require them to engage in expression contrary to Catholic beliefs. Like similar laws across the country, the Jacksonville law threatened to require the bookstore to use pronouns of customers contrary to their sex and to stop the bookstore from explaining its beliefs about gender identity on its website. The bookstore serves all customers and gladly sells its products to anybody, but DeTrude and her bookstore staff cannot speak messages that violate their faith.

After the district court found that the law credibly threatened the bookstore’s First Amendment rights, Jacksonville agreed to a settlement exempting the bookstore from its law.

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September 5, 2023

Right to Life of Central California v. Bonta

Right to Life of Central California v. Bonta

In a victory for free speech and life, California state officials have agreed to a settlement protecting Right to Life of Central California’s free speech and paying $192,706 in attorneys’ fees.

In October 2021, Gavin Newsom signed SB 742 into law, which banned certain free-speech activities when a speaker is within 30 feet of another person and that other person is “in a public way or on a sidewalk area” and “within 100 feet of the entrance or exit of a vaccination site and is seeking to enter or exit a vaccination site.” This restricted Right to Life’s ability to peaceably offer charitable services to women in need on the public sidewalk and street outside its own building—and even its own parking lot—because Right to Life is located next to a Planned Parenthood abortion facility that administers the HPV vaccine.

Thankfully, as part of the settlement secured by Alliance Defending Freedom, California officials agreed to not enforce the discriminatory parts of the law against Right to Life or any speaker.

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August 25, 2023

An abortionist is threatening North Carolina’s right to pass abortion laws that protect women and girls

GenBioPro v. Sorsaia

A federal district court partially dismissed a lawsuit from chemical abortion drug manufacturer GenBioPro that had targeted the state’s pro-life laws, upholding the majority of the state’s Unborn Child Protection Act and other pro-life legal provisions.

GenBioPro, which manufactures the generic chemical abortion drug mifepristone, asked the court to render the state’s pro-life laws unconstitutional, claiming that Congress gave the Food and Drug Administration the power to mandate nationwide access to dangerous chemical abortions—preempting West Virginia’s duly-enacted pro-life laws that protect the lives of the unborn and mothers. The court rejected most of those arguments, ruling that the state is free to pass and enforce pro-life laws. The only part of the state’s near-total protection for life that the court found could still be challenged is the law ensuring women see a physician in person before receiving chemical abortion drugs.

ADF will continue assisting West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the remainder of the continuing lawsuit.

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August 22, 2023

Steve Tennes - Country Mill Farms
https://admin.adflegal.org/terms-and-conditions
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Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom

Country Mill Farms

A federal district court ruled that Country Mill Farms owner Steve Tennes is free to continue participating in the East Lansing farmer’s market. In its ruling, the court wrote that Tennes and Country Mill Farms “were forced to choose between following their religious beliefs and a government benefit for which they were otherwise qualified,” thus violating their free exercise rights.

Back in 2017, Tennes and his farm sued the city of East Lansing after officials excluded Tennes from the market because of his religious beliefs. After Tennes posted, in response to a question on Facebook, that he follows the Catholic Church’s teachings about marriage, including when he participates in weddings at his family’s farm, city officials enacted a policy to prohibit Tennes and Country Mill Farms from participating in the city’s farmer’s market. The city used a discretionary system of individual assessments to ban only Tennes from market participation, even though Tennes and his family farm have always served everyone at the farmer’s market and have never received any complaints against them.

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August 21, 2023

Kettle Moraine School District’s policy instructs educators to socially transition children to the other gender without parental consent.

Eknes-Tucker v. Governor of the State of Alabama

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit lifted a lower court’s injunction on an Alabama state law that protects children from harmful and unnecessary medical procedures. The 11th Circuit’s order allows the law to take effect while the case proceeds.

The lawsuit (formerly Boe v. Marshall) was brought by activist groups and professionals with large financial interests in pushing harmful puberty-blockers, potentially sterilizing cross-sex hormones, and irreversible surgeries upon children too young to understand the long-term implications for their lives. The Biden administration is also supporting the lawsuit.

Alliance Defending Freedom is assisting the state of Alabama in defense of its commonsense law protecting vulnerable children.

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August 16, 2023

Dr. Christina Francis, Dr. Shaun Jester, Dr. Donna Harrison, and Dr. Tyler Johnson, doctors experienced in caring for pregnant and post-abortive women who joined the lawsuit challenging the FDA's illegal approval of chemical abortion drugs.

Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration

In a victory for women’s health, a unanimous panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that the Food and Drug Administration must restore critical safeguards for chemical abortion drugs and disallow their shipment by mail.

The court’s ruling prohibits abortion providers from sending chemical abortion drugs through the mail, which the FDA had been allowing since 2021. Additionally, in 2016, the FDA extended the permissible gestational age during pregnancy for which a girl or woman may take chemical abortion drugs from seven to 10 weeks, removed two of three required office visits, allowed non-doctors to prescribe the drug regimen, and eliminated the requirement that providers report non-fatal adverse events to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System. The 5th Circuit also held that the FDA’s 2016 action violated the Administrative Procedure Act and upheld the district court’s conclusion reinstating the original 2000 safeguards.

The decision will not go into effect until the Supreme Court has the opportunity to review it. The Biden administration intends to appeal the decision to the High Court. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing four medical associations and four doctors experienced in caring for pregnant and post-abortive women in this lawsuit.

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August 15, 2023

The Frederick Douglass Foundation chalking sidewalk

The Frederick Douglass Foundation v. District of Columbia

In a major free speech ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit allowed the First Amendment claims of two pro-life organizations that sought to chalk a pro-life message on a city sidewalk to move forward.

In June 2020, the D.C. mayor commissioned a mural reading “Black Lives Matter” in permanent yellow paint. Protestors quickly added their “Defund the Police” message to the mural and painted other permanent protest art on D.C. streets and private property. The city left these favored messages in place for months. Yet when the Frederick Douglass Foundation and Students for Life of America sought to use chalk to display a different message—“Black Pre-Born Lives Matter”—on a public street outside of the D.C. Planned Parenthood facility, police arrested them. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represented both organizations in court.

Thankfully, the court’s ruling affirms that free speech is for everyone and that city officials can’t censor messages they disagree with.

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July 31, 2023

baby looking at mother

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. Stein

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a response brief on behalf of North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger asking the court to uphold the state’s pro-life laws. Abortionists are challenging North Carolina’s amended pro-life laws, including the state’s requirement that doctors perform an ultrasound to screen for an ectopic pregnancy before distributing chemical abortion drugs and mandating that abortions be performed in a hospital after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

North Carolina should be free to protect the health and safety of women and girls, safeguard life, and ensure that women have real support.

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July 26, 2023

Maggie Dejong sitting on a bench

Maggie DeJong

Alliance Defending Freedom has favorably settled a case against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville officials on behalf of former art therapy grad student Maggie DeJong.

In February 2022, SIUE officials issued no-contact orders against DeJong, prohibiting her from having “any contact” or even “indirect communication” with three fellow graduate students who complained that her expression of religious and political viewpoints constituted “harassment” and “discrimination.” After receiving a letter from ADF, the university eventually rescinded the no-contact orders and closed its baseless investigation of DeJong, but not before violating her First Amendment rights and tarnishing her reputation.

As part of the settlement agreement, ADF attorneys will conduct a First Amendment training session with three professors at SIUE. University officials also agreed to revise both their policies and student handbook to ensure students with varying political, religious, and ideological views are welcome in the art therapy program. In addition, university officials paid $80,000 in damages and attorneys fees.

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July 25, 2023

Branches Pregnancy Resource Center front desk

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Clark

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and two pregnancy care centers challenging a Vermont law unconstitutionally restricting the centers’ speech and provision of services.

In May 2023, Gov. Phil Scott signed SB 37 into law. The law censors the centers’ ability to advertise their services and precludes the ability of centers to offer even non-medical services, information, and counseling unless provided by a licensed health care provider. The law applies only to pro-life pregnancy centers, who do not provide or refer for abortion. An abortion clinic that provides identical information would not be subject to the law. Under the law, the state attorney general also has the authority to fine pregnancy centers up to $10,000 if she believes its life-affirming messages are “misleading,” which the law does not define.

Pregnancy centers should be free to serve women and offer the support they need without fear of unjust government punishment.

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July 19, 2023

Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop decorates a custom cake

Jack Phillips

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a supplemental notice with the Colorado Supreme Court asking it to apply that ruling and similarly affirm the First Amendment right of cake artist Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop to create custom art promoting messages consistent with his beliefs. An activist attorney and Colorado officials have misused the same state law that was at issue in 303 Creative to punish Phillips for more than a decade.

Phillips, now in his third lawsuit, appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court in April 2023 after a lower appeals court held that the state can force Phillips to express messages that violate his beliefs. But as the Supreme Court affirmed in the 303 Creative decision, the government can’t force Americans to express things they don’t believe. Free speech is for everyone, and the government can’t misuse public-accommodation laws to compel Jack to create custom art expressing messages he does not believe.

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July 18, 2023

Dave Bloch served as the snowboarding coach at Woodstock Union High School in Vermont

Bloch v. Bouchey

David Bloch founded the snowboarding team at Woodstock Union High School in 2011 and has served as head coach every year since. Under his leadership, the program has had success both on and off the slopes, including a number of individual state champions. Bloch is also a practicing Roman Catholic who believes that God creates males and females with immutable sex, and that, based on scientific evidence, there are only two sexes as determined by a person’s chromosomes.

In February 2023, Bloch’s team was set to compete against a team that had a male snowboarder who identifies as a female and competes against females. After overhearing a conversation between two of his athletes discussing the snowboarder, Bloch joined the conversation, commenting that biological differences give males an advantage in athletic competitions. The conversation was respectful, lasted no more than three minutes, and took place entirely outside the presence of the snowboarder in question.

But for sharing those views in that brief conversation, school officials terminated his employment and barred him from future jobs in the school district. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Coach Bloch to vindicate his right to free speech.

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July 17, 2023

Female photographer with her camera and laptop

Chelsey Nelson & Emilee Carpenter

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis, Alliance Defending Freedom is asking two federal courts of appeal to affirm the First Amendment rights of two photographers and bloggers: Chelsey Nelson and Emilee Carpenter. ADF filed supplemental briefs in both cases explaining why 303 Creative protects the photographers’ freedom to create messages consistent with their faith.

ADF filed suit on Nelson’s behalf to stop the city of Louisville from threatening her and violating her First Amendment rights by forcing her to create messages about marriage that she does not believe. In August 2022, a federal district court upheld Nelson’s freedom to create photographs and write blogs that align with her religious beliefs. Louisville appealed that decision to the 6th Circuit.

In Carpenter’s case, ADF attorneys are asking the 2nd Circuit to uphold the photographer’s First Amendment rights and reverse a district court’s ruling that concluded the state of New York can force her to create photographs and blogs inconsistent with her beliefs. New York’s laws threaten Carpenter with fines of up to $100,000, a revoked business license, and up to a year in jail.

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July 13, 2023

Kevin Martian owns Mayo Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy in Bismarck, North Dakota

State of Texas and Mayo Pharmacy v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

A federal district court allowed a North Dakota pharmacy’s lawsuit against the Biden administration to proceed, rejecting the administration’s attempt to dismiss the case challenging the administration’s unlawful use of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to advance its radical abortion agenda.

In July 2022, HHS issued a mandate that requires pharmacies that serve patients with Medicare, Medicaid, or other federally funded coverage to stock and dispense elective abortion drugs. The Biden administration threatened legal action against any pharmacy that does not comply, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs.

In March 2023, Alliance Defending Freedom added Mayo Pharmacy—an independent pharmacy in Bismarck, North Dakota, run by Catholic pharmacist Kevin Martian, PharmD—to a lawsuit the state of Texas filed challenging the Biden administration’s mandate. In the amended complaint, ADF’s and Texas’ attorneys explain that the administration’s pharmacy mandate directly conflicts with multiple federal statutes and Texas’ pro-life laws.

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July 12, 2023

An all-weather running track is seen on a sunny day

B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education

Newly obtained information has revealed that a middle-school male athlete competing on a West Virginia girls’ track team and suing to challenge the state’s law protecting women’s sports has displaced more than 100 female athletes more than 280 times and denied two girls spots in a conference championship.

In 2021, West Virginia enacted a law to ensure equal athletic opportunities for women. The male athlete, who attends Bridgeport Middle School, asked the 4th Circuit to halt enforcement of the law while on appeal so the athlete could compete on the girls’ track team. The court granted the request, relying on the athlete’s repeated assurances that the injunction “will harm no one.” However, since the court entered the injunction, the male athlete’s physical advantage and athletic ability have dramatically improved to the point that the athlete is repeatedly taking away athletic opportunities from girls.

In light of the significant new facts, Alliance Defending Freedom and the state attorney general’s office filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit asking it to suspend the injunction that is holding up full implementation of the law.

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July 11, 2023

Mother kissing baby's hand

Hodes & Nauser v. Kobach

Since 1997, Kansas has guaranteed reasonable, commonsense measures to ensure that women undergoing abortion do so only after they are fully informed and voluntarily consent to the procedure. The Women’s Right to Know Act is designed to inform women of the risks of abortion, the alternatives to it, the stages of an unborn child’s development, as well as assistance available for those who choose to carry their babies to term. The statute also requires doctors to meet with women in advance to answer any questions the woman may have about the procedure.

Planned Parenthood and other abortionists in the state are challenging this law. Alliance Defending Freedom is serving as co-counsel with Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach’s office to defend the state’s pro-life and pro-woman law.

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June 30, 2023

Lorie Smith in her studio

303 Creative v. Elenis

In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held 6-3 in 303 Creative v. Elenis that Colorado cannot punish graphic artist Lorie Smith for creating art consistent with her beliefs. The Supreme Court’s ruling upholds the free speech rights of all Americans, reaffirming that the government can’t force Americans to say things they don’t believe. The decision also ensures that states can continue to use public-accommodation laws to stop discrimination based on who someone is while also protecting everyone’s right to free speech.

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June 21, 2023

Darren Patterson Christian Academy

Darren Patterson Christian Academy v. Roy

Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Darren Patterson Christian Academy against Colorado state officials for forcing the school to choose between staying true to its religious beliefs and participation in the state’s universal preschool program.

In April 2022, Colorado enacted a law that guarantees every four-year-old in the state at least 15 hours per week of state-funded preschool services for the upcoming school year. Darren Patterson Christian Academy in Buena Vista obtained approval to participate in Colorado’s new universal preschool program, set to go into effect July 2023. However, the Colorado Department of Early Childhood is requiring that for schools to participate in the program and receive critical state funding, they must hire employees who do not share their faith and alter internal rules and policies that are based on the schools’ religious beliefs about sexuality and gender—including those that relate to restroom usage, pronouns, dress codes, and student lodging during and field trips. Unless the school agrees to violate its religious beliefs, it will lose valuable tuition reimbursement from the state.

The government may not deny participation in a public program simply due to a school’s religious beliefs.

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June 20, 2023

Kerr v. Planned Parenthood could make it easier for states to direct taxpayer dollars to medical providers offering real support for women—not abortions.

Kerr v. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic

In light of its recent decision in Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Alliance Defending Freedom's petition in Kerr v. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, vacated the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit's decision, and remanded the case back to that court to reconsider its ruling. The outcome will decide whether pro-life states like South Carolina can direct Medicaid funds away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

ADF had filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to hear the case and affirm that the Medicaid Act does not create a private right for Medicaid recipients to challenge a state’s decision about whether specific providers like Planned Parenthood are qualified to receive taxpayer funding.

States should be able to use taxpayer dollars consistent with their own laws. No citizen should have to fund facilities that perform life-ending procedures like abortion.

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June 5, 2023

Dayspring Christian Learning Center wall

Church of Compassion v. Johnson

For nearly twenty years, Church of Compassion’s preschool and daycare program, Dayspring Christian Learning Center, has participated in a federal food program that provides reimbursements for meals and snacks to needy children in El Cajon, CA. In 2022, however, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) unlawfully suspended Dayspring from participating in the food program simply because of their beliefs about human sexuality.

The Biden administration radically expanded its interpretation of the definition of “sex” in Title IX to include sexual orientation and gender identity. This led the CDSS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which oversees the program) to issue new government mandates that would have forced the daycare to hire those who do not share its faith and adopt policies on restroom usage, dress codes, and pronouns that conflict with its religious beliefs.

Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Center for Law and Policy, and Advocates for Faith and Freedom are representing Church of Compassion and its daycare program for the right to maintain its religious beliefs while serving needy children. CDSS’s decision to remove Church of Compassion from the program directly hurts children in their community. The government should not let kids go hungry simply because they attend a Christian school.

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June 2, 2023

College or University Building

University at Buffalo Young Americans for Freedom

Alliance Defending Freedom is representing a Young Americans for Freedom chapter and three students at the University at Buffalo against university officials and the Student Association after they derecognized the conservative student group and disallowed them from receiving the same benefits as other student groups.

Young Americans for Freedom has existed as a registered student organization at the University at Buffalo since 2017 and has had over 100 members. But in March 2023, two weeks after Young Americans for Freedom hosted a conservative speaker on campus, the Student Association revised its policies that govern recognition of clubs and prohibited them from being chapters of national organizations. The timing of the revision together with the fact that the Student Association president sought legal counsel and told the Student Association Senate, “We all know why we’re doing this,” demonstrates that they were targeting Young Americans for Freedom and its views. Despite the new policy, other student organizations with similar purposes are still allowed to be chapters of outside organizations and receive official recognition.

Universities can’t pick and choose which student groups are allowed on campus.

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