Earlier this year, a student at Auburn University was denied the opportunity to serve as the student government’s Chief Justice due to his conservative and Christian convictions.
After Campus Reform highlighted his situation in August, he was overwhelmingly confirmed as an Associate Justice.
Stephen Morris — a student at Auburn University who was denied the opportunity to serve as the Student Government Association’s Chief Justice due to his conservative and Christian beliefs — assumed the role of Associate Justice after Campus Reform highlighted his situation.
“Because all of the Judicial Branch appointees were struck down on my account, SGA had to completely redo the appointment process,” Morris, a pre-law student, told Campus Reform. “I reapplied, and I was appointed to serve as an Associate Justice this time around.”
Campus Reform previously reported that Student Senators expressed concern at a July 12 meeting over Morris’ Christian and conservative convictions, as expressed on social media. For instance, Morris condemned members of the Black Lives Matter movement for celebrating the deaths of police officers.
“After seeing some of the things that one candidate has said, I don’t have confidence that if something that were controversial would come up that it would be unbiased,” responded Senator Sydney Williams. “Some of the things I have seen have been concerning just humans and equality and things like that. Since this is a confirmation and not something that the student body can elect, I think it’s the Senate’s job to look out for the student body and make sure it’s someone that can represent the student body.”
Morris responded: “Personally, I find my identity in Christ, and I believe that my Christian beliefs and Christian doctrine do indeed promote the absolute highest level attainable of human flourishing.”
Originally, the Student Senate failed to surpass the two-thirds majority necessary to confirm Morris as Chief Justice. However, after Campus Reform wrote about his story in August, Morris was confirmed to the Associate Justice position with little opposition.
“Only one student spoke in opposition to me, and many students spoke and wrote statements in support of me,” he told Campus Reform. “When the opportunity for debate came, no one spoke. This was obviously in stark contrast to the very lengthy debate on July 12. The bill, which needed the support of at least two-thirds of the Student Senate to confirm the Associate Justices, passed by a 29-4 vote.
“Positive, encouraging outcomes like this are the best to share, in my opinion,” he noted.