Statement from the University of Notre Dame on the decision in American Jewish Congress vs.Corporation for National and Community Service

by Dennis K. Brown

On July 2, 2004, the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia granted summary judgment to the plaintiff, the American Jewish Congress, in the lawsuit filed against the Corporation for National and Community Service alleging that funding of programs like the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) violates the First Amendment. The University, which intervened in the case, is very disappointed in the court’s decision and respectfully disagrees with the decision and the facts as stated by the court. The University believes the decision is contrary to Supreme Court decisions that plainly authorize neutral funding of religious institutions like AmeriCorps funding of ACE. Supreme Court decisions also make it clear that the constitution does not require religious based discrimination of the sort required by the district court in this case. The University plans to appeal.

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