"Mormon Student, Justice, ACLU Join Up"
VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Wed Aug 29 23:28:29 PDT 2007
Any thoughts on this?
The Justice Department is joining the American Civil Liberties Union in
backing a student who lost his state-funded merit-based scholarship
because he left college to serve a two-year church mission.
The department's Civil Rights Division filed a friend-of-the-court brief
Friday in U.S. District Court in Charleston on behalf of David Haws, a
student at West Virginia University.
Haws, a Mormon, is suing a state scholarship board, alleging it violated
his First Amendment right to freely exercise his religion. His attorney
argues that by denying Haws' request for a leave of absence, the board
forced him to choose between his religion and his scholarship through a
state program, known as PROMISE.
The Justice Department noted that the PROMISE Board grants deferments
for military and community service, and that by denying a deferral for
religious purposes, the board was placing a lower value on religious
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