I believe that a private business has a right to do what it wants with its business. An employer should be able to hire who he wants and refuse employment to anyone for any reason. What’s complicated hiring practices is the intrusion of the Federal Government. There are so many discrimination laws in place that it’s getting risky to hire anyone today. You never know what you’re going to get. If you decide not to hire someone after an interview, be ready with a lawyer to fight the EEOC.
In addition to employers, educational institutions also come under the jurisdiction of piles of government regulations. If a college or university takes any type of financial aid, it is subject to all federal discrimination regulations. Grove City College (and later Hillsdale College) found this out the hard way.
Grove City College v. Bell, 465 U.S. 555 (1984), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court held that Title IX, which only applies to colleges and universities that receive federal funds, could be applied to a private school that refused direct federal funding, but where a large number of students had received federally funded scholarships.
Since Grove City accepted students who were using government-funded scholarships like the GI Bill, the court found the school in violation. For the scholarships to be used, Grove City would have to come under the jurisdiction of Title IX even though there was no evidence of any discrimination on the part of the school. It didn’t matter that Grove City was a private, self-funded college. It was the indirect government aid that put the school under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government.
Instead of violating its free-market principles, Grove City does not accept any scholarships that come from the government, that is, money taken from taxpayers. The school helps students financially in other ways.
Vanderbilt University permits religious organizations to operate on campus. In order to stay on campus, the religious groups must open their leadership positions to “all comers.” This means that a Christian group like Fellowship of Christian Athletes would have to allow an atheist to hold a leadership position. It’s obvious that the new rules are directed at these groups because they are religious in nature.
Rep. Diane Black offered this criticism:
“By exempting Greek organizations but refusing to exempt religious organizations it appears that religious discrimination is the aim of this policy.”
This type of discrimination comes under Title IX, the same set of regulations that were used against Grove City College.
Vanderbilt will claim that the school is a private educational institution. Fair enough. If the school is truly private, that is, if it accepts absolutely no government funding, the school can do what it wants with what is theirs. But the school takes government-backed loans and government scholarships brought to it by students; therefore, it cannot discriminate on the basis of religion.
In effect, the geniuses at Vanderbilt are using a non-discrimination policy as a club to discriminate against religious groups. Makes sense to me. Now I know why it costs $60,000 a year to go to Vanderbilt. It takes four years and $240,000 to get a young person to learn to argue like an idiot.