Lawsuit: UC Santa Cruz Diversity Statements Violate First Amendment

J.D. Haltigan, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto has filed a lawsuit challenging the University of California at Santa Cruz’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statement requirement for job applicants.

“UC Santa Cruz’ DEI statement requirement is nothing more than a rebranding of the unconstitutional loyalty oaths that proliferated during the Cold War,” said Wilson Freeman, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “Universities are not permitted to discriminate against applicants because of their political views. UC’s DEI statement screening is a thinly veiled attempt to do exactly that.”

All UC schools require applicants to submit DEI statements to even be considered for a position. UC Santa Cruz requires that successful statements should include particular beliefs about race, fairness, and other controversial socio-political issues. As a result, before the university will consider J.D.’s qualifications for the role, he must swear fealty to a particular racial justice ideology and political program that the school supports.

The case is J.D. Haltigan v. Michael Drake, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


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