The University of Idaho has been ordered to pay a $90,000 settlement to a group of Christian law students and a college professor, after apparently violating First Amendment protections.
The previously disputed case involved three University of Idaho law students who are also members of the Christian Legal Society (CLS) student group — along with a law professor, who doubled as the CLS faculty adviser.
All four filed a free-speech lawsuit against the school, according to The Columbian.
In addition to the $90,000 payout, the university must also withdraw its "no-contact" order involving the four people in the lawsuit, all of whom were represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The ADF defended the four principals' rights to free speech. It also argued the university had unlawfully punished the foursome for expressing their religious beliefs, which included "their support for the traditional idea that marriage is between a man and a woman," according to Breitbart News.
The ADF also argued that the three law students and the adviser/professor had been condemned by a panel with the American Bar Association — once the University of Idaho disclosed the dispute details involving marriage beliefs.
"Today's university students will be tomorrow's leaders, judges, and school administrators. So, it's imperative that university officials model the First Amendment freedoms they are supposed to be teaching their students," ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer said in a statement.
Langhofer continued: "We're pleased to settle this case favorably on behalf of [John Doe #1, John Doe #2, John Doe #3], and Professor Seamon, and we hope that it will encourage all public universities across the country to support the constitutionally protected freedom of students and professors to share their deeply held beliefs on campus."
The last names of the three law students were neither disclosed in The Columbian nor Breitbart stories.
CLS attorney Laura Nammo said in a statement: "If we are to repair the current culture of political polarization, conversations among persons with differing viewpoints are essential.
"University officials' censorship of such conversations needlessly exacerbates polarization and harms all students' ability to learn from one another," added Nammo.
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