The Charlotte Observer, Aug. 2, 2002
Lawyers for UNC Chapel Hill asked a federal judge Thursday to dismiss from a lawsuit five people who claim a requirement for new students to read a book on Islam violates their First Amendment rights.
The suit was filed last month by a Christian organization, the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, on behalf of three unnamed students and two taxpayers.
In essence, the papers filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Greensboro ask the judge to throw the suit out because these are the only five people now suing the school over this issue.
Motions the university filed Thursday ask that two N.C. taxpayers — James Yacovelli and Terry Moffitt — be removed from the case because they cannot prove that they will be personally injured by the required reading. They also cannot prove, the motions say, that they will benefit if the requirement is lifted.
The university also is asking that three anonymous students not be allowed to sue because they have no grounds, under court rules, to remain anonymous. They cannot, for example, prove they have any reason to suspect they will be harmed — physically or mentally — if named, the motions say.
The university also says the students did not ask the court for permission to sue anonymously, a requirement under federal law.