Archive for: 2019

Legal and Legislative Update

An update on the status of Patterson v. Walgreen, New York expands statute of limitations on child sexual abuses case, ministerial exception in disability claims, and Sabbath accommodation

 
 

Supreme Court to hear challenge to Montana's no-aid-to-religion law

Supreme Court to hear challenge to Montana's no-aid-to-religion law

The United States (U.S.) Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue, concerning a Montana state legislative program that allowed individuals to receive up to a $150.00 tax credit for money that they could donate to one of several K-12 scholarship funds.

 
 

No upside for babies – NIH should withdraw funding for research on cannabis use during pregnancy

No upside for babies – NIH should withdraw funding for research on cannabis use during pregnancy

An NIH-funded study at the University of Washington is intended to determine whether there are adverse effects of cannabis use by pregnant women on infants. The best case scenario is if the baby develops normally to the point of matching the "control group" that was not exposed to marijuana. At worst, they might be born underweight, have cognitive and behavioral disorders, or develop physical brain abnormalities identified in imaging studies, or fail to survive.

 
 

BREAKING: Supreme Court says WWI Cross can stand due to age

By Ben Jacobson (Kranar Drogin) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

There's an old adage that bad facts make bad law, and in this case, given political exigencies, there was little to no chance that the Court would have found that the cross must be removed from public property. While we had previously anticipated that denying the case based on standing would have been the "easy answer," the Court issued a ruling today that addressed the cross on the merits. Now our attention turns to whether there is collateral damage to the substance of the Establishment Clause.

 
 

FFRF decides not to appeal 7th Circuit opinion upholding parsonage allowance

FFRF decides not to appeal 7th Circuit opinion upholding parsonage allowance

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has decided not to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 7th Circuit decision in Gaylor v. Mnuchin  (7th Cir., March 15, 2019) upholding a clergy-specific tax-free housing allowance provision in the IRS code. The secular organization has consistently argued that Internal Revenue Code Sec. 107(2) violates the Establishment Clause. 

 
 

Why the Free Exercise Clause needs to be strengthened

Why the Free Exercise Clause needs to be strengthened

The Free Exercise Clause that guarantees religious freedom is much weaker than most people realize.  While freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and even the establishment clause are subject to highest "strict scrutiny" levels of protection, the free exercise of religion receives the lowest level of protection – the "rational basis test." 

 
 

High Court reverses Oregon finding against bakers and sends case back to lower court for further review

High Court reverses Oregon finding against bakers and sends case back to lower court for further review

The Supreme Court appears reluctant to squarely address the balance between the free exercise of religion and anti-discrimination statutes, or to discuss a claim for hybrid-rights combining "rational basis" free exercise rights with "strict scrutiny" free speech rights.

 
 

Supreme Court rules that Title VII EEOC filing requirements are mandatory but not jurisdictional

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court issued a ruling on June 3, 2019, in a case (Fort Bend County v. Davis)  involving whether a court may hear a discrimination case where the plaintiff fails to raise all charges in an initial EEOC complaint.  The Court found that the Title VII's rules are procedural, not jurisdictional, and as such procedural defenses need to be raised early in a case.

 
 

In Congress, Federal Equality Act as drafted faces feminist opposition

In Congress, Federal Equality Act as drafted faces feminist opposition

Legislation that would add sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 threatens women's bodily privacy says feminist organization

 
 

Podcast highlights religious liberty and social justice through Adventist lens

Podcast host Peter Chung and guest Ivor Meyers

Peter Chung, a history teacher at San Gabriel Academy in Southern California, hosts a religious liberty and social justice podcast series, "Healing the Nations," that addresses current issues "through the lens of the historical religious liberty view of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.