This afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia A. Bashant of the Southern District of California denied the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund’s (FCDF) motion for a preliminary injunction against the San Diego Unified School District’s school board and superintendent to stop their “anti-Islamophobia initiative.” In her order today, Judge Bashant rejected the families’ argument that the anti-Muslim bullying program violates the First Amendment, which prohibits government preference for a particular religious sect.
FCDF is representing the five families and two local organizations, Citizens for Quality Education San Diego and the San Diego Asian Americans for Equality Foundation.
Daniel Piedra, FCDF’s Executive Director
“The Court’s comprehensive ruling rightfully recognized the sensitive First Amendment concerns in the public schools. But the judge failed to address the critical facts and well-established constitutional law proving that the District is clearly discriminating in favor of one religious sect. Despite today’s ruling, our clients remain fully confident they have the Constitution on their side.”
FCDF attorneys are evaluating the next steps with the plaintiffs, which includes a possible appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The case is still on track to proceed to trial where a jury would determine whether the District’s anti-Islamophobia initiative violates the Constitution.