Press Releases

First Liberty Institute Message to Biden Administration: Proposal Threatens Religious Student Organizations

March 27, 2023

News Release
For Immediate Release: 3.27.23
Contact: Peyton Luke,
Direct: 972-941-4454

First Liberty Institute Message to Biden Administration: Proposal Threatens Religious Student Organizations

Group files public comment in opposition to new proposed rules that gut current protections for religious student groups on campus

Washington, DC—First Liberty Institute attorneys submitted a public comment in opposition to the Biden Administration’s proposed “Direct Grant Programs, State-Administered Formula Grant Programs Proposed Rule,” promulgated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education rules that would lessen federal protections for religious student groups.

You can read the comment here.

“Robust debate is essential to the college experience,” said Christine Pratt, Counsel at First Liberty.  “Existing rules ensure that college students are exposed to new ideas and are free to profess and maintain their opinions on college campuses across America.  The proposed new rules are not just unnecessary but they could threaten the freedom of religious student groups to exist on many college campuses.”

According to the comment, “None of the Department’s concerns about the 2020 Free Inquiry Rule justify rescinding the protections for religious student groups contained in §§ 75.500(d) and 76.500(d). Those protections for religious student groups prohibit only what the First Amendment already prohibits: denying to religious student groups any benefit that a university affords to other student organizations. In addition, the Department’s claims that the 2020 rule imposes significant burdens on the Department are demonstrably false, and the Department’s insistence that universities are already making good faith efforts to comply with the First Amendment is nonsensical. For all of these reasons, the Department should decline to rescind §§ 75.500(d) and 76.500(d).”

Recently, First Liberty represented the Free Exercise Coalition, a religious student group at University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law that had been denied official recognition. A complaint recently filed by First Liberty with the Department of Education regarding the University of New Hampshire’s First Amendment violations is available here.

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Peyton Luke at or by calling 972-941-4454.

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