FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 28, 2023) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined a 22-state coalition in opposing a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The proposed rule would abolish a federal regulation that currently requires public universities to comply with the First Amendment to be eligible for federal grant funding.
“Religious liberty is a fundamental American right enshrined in the First Amendment,” said Attorney General Cameron. “The Biden Administration’s attempt to repeal a regulation that protects this foundational value is deeply concerning. I am opposing the proposed rule to ensure that students can continue to express their faith on public university campuses.”
In their letter, the attorneys general argue that the current regulation protects the right to free exercise of religion for university students and organizations by providing an “additional check on wayward administrators.” The coalition explains the importance of the regulation by citing the University of Iowa’s decision to strip the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of its official recognition because its leaders had to affirm “the basic biblical truths of Christianity.”
The attorneys general further explain that “religious students have greatly enriched campus communities, through charity, service, temperance, and commitment to learning.” In their letter, the coalition asks the ED to rescind the proposed rule.
Under the existing regulation, which was established in 2020 to uphold Supreme Court precedent, public universities may not deny religious student organizations “any right, benefit, or privilege that is otherwise afforded to other student organizations” because of their “beliefs, practices, policies, speech, membership standards, or leadership standards, which are informed by sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Attorney General Cameron was joined by attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia in sending the letter.
To read a copy of the letter, click here.