Follow Us

Biden Education Department targets Trump-era rules protecting religious liberty on campus

Trump executive order "prescribed a novel and unduly burdensome role for the Department in investigating allegations regarding public institutions' treatment of religious student organizations," said department official Nassar H. Paydar.

Published: February 21, 2023 4:14pm

Updated: February 21, 2023 6:13pm

The Department of Education on Thursday proposed eliminating a Trump-era regulation requiring the suspension of federal funds to colleges that restrict the activities of religious organizations on campus.

"After its thorough review, The Department today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to rescind a portion of the regulation related to religious student organizations because the Department believes it is not necessary in order to protect the First Amendment right to free speech and free exercise of religion given existing legal protections," the department announced on Tuesday.

Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Nassar H. Paydar contended that the Trump executive order, issued in 2019, "prescribed a novel and unduly burdensome role for the Department in investigating allegations regarding public institutions' treatment of religious student organizations."

The DOE proposed returning to the system wherein the judicial branch of government would make a determination as to whether an institution improperly restricted First Amendment rights

"[T]he Department certainly shares the view that public institutions should not treat religious student organizations less favorably than other student organizations, we do not, at this time, believe that a threat of remedial action with respect to the Department's grants helps achieve this goal," Paydar contended. "This proposed recission does not alter the Department's commitment to religious freedom, which is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as a fundamental human right that contributes to the vibrancy, diversity, and strength of our nation."

The Education Department further solicited stakeholders and the public to provide comment on the proposed recission.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook