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Friday, November 21, 2014

Religious Discrimination Case Against University Dismissed

A Jewish religious organization (Chabad-Lubavitch) was barred from contracting with the University and its contractors after an investigation discovered that the organization was allowing underage students to drink at various functions at the Tannenbaum Chabad House. The religious organization sued the University, claiming that the disaffiliation violated the organization's civil rights by discriminating against the organization on the basis of religion - specifically, the group argued that the University's actions were motivated by hostility to the Chabad sect.  The district court dismissed the case, finding no discrimination in the University's actions.

On appeal, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled against the religious group.  First, the court determined that religious discrimination is not covered by sections 1981 and 1982 of the Civil Rights Act.  Second, the court found no evidence that the University was hostile against the Chabad sect, or Judaism in general.  Instead, the University took action against the group because of its irresponsible attitude towards excessive underage drinking at the Chabad house.  Lubavitch-Chabad of Illinois, Inc. v. Northwestern University, (7th Cir. Nov. 6, 2014).

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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