Legal Issues

Justices hint interest in revisiting Title VII religious accommodation while declining to hear football coach prayer case

Justices hint interest in revisiting Title VII religious accommodation while declining to hear football coach prayer case

It is debatable whether a claim by a public school football coach that he is compelled by religious belief to pray at the 50-yard line following each game is a good vehicle for addressing either free exercise or workplace religious accommodation. However, it does appear that the four justices who signed onto Alito's response have concerns about the chilling effect of Hardison and Smith on the ability to even raise Title VII religious accommodation and Free Exercise Clause claims. With Patterson v. Walgreen Co., the Supreme Court has the opportunity to revisit religious accommodation claims under Title VII.

 
 

Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom of 1786 reminds us of the mutual benefits of church-state separation

Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom of 1786 reminds us of the mutual benefits of church-state separation

The Virginia legislators who approved the religious freedom statute in 1786, separating church and state, recognized the potential for change, and call the Americans of 2019 and beyond to a greater truth and a higher reality.

 
 

9th Cir: Catholic School Teacher Fired for Requesting Time for Cancer Treatment May Pursue ADA Discrimination Claim

9th Cir: Catholic School Teacher Fired for Requesting Time for Cancer Treatment May Pursue ADA Discrimination Claim

On December 17, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the ministerial exception does not bar a teacher in a Catholic school who was fired because she needed time off work for surgery and chemotherapy from pursuing a claim under the Americans with Disability Act.

 
 

Supreme Court to decide whether Excessive Fines Clause applies to states

U.S. Supreme Court - DepositPhotos.com / trekandshoot

The Supreme Court is likely to decide that the 14th Amendment applies the Excessive Fines Clause of the 8th Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the states in Indiana civil forfeiture case.

 
 

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear WWI Memorial Cross Case

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear WWI Memorial Cross Case

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a 4th Circuit decision involving a Maryland cross-shaped WWI memorial. In 2017, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals held 2-1 that the structure, erected in 1925, "has the primary effect of excessively endorsing religion and excessively entangles the government in religion."

 
 

Grace v. Works: Alabama 10 Commandments referendum is theologically confusing

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and the Ten Commandments Monument at the Alabama Judiciary Building

Setting the Constitutional separation of church and state issue aside, Alabama's 10 Commandments referendum still creates theological confusion for Christians by promoting the law without the corresponding remedy of grace.

 
 

Clergy Housing Tax Exemption Case Heard by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Clergy Housing Tax Exemption Case Heard by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments this week in Gaylor v. Peecher, a case that challenges the constitutionality of tax-exempt housing for clergy. Under 25 U.S.C. § 107(2), a pastor may receive a payment separate from taxable salary to pay for housing-related expenses including rent, mortgages and utility services.

 
 

Founders' First Freedom Files "Friend of the Court" Brief Asking Court to Hear Religious Accommodation Case

Founders' First Freedom Files "Friend of the Court" Brief Asking Court to Hear Religious Accommodation Case

Walgreen v Patterson gives the Supreme Court the opportunity to promote consistency and predictability and resolve disputed interpretation between Circuits, Congress, and the EEOC in a manner that is respectful of both religious beliefs and business needs says amicus Founders' First Freedom.

 
 

Turning Back the Clock: The Plot to Dismantle the Establishment Clause

Turning Back the Clock: The Plot to Dismantle the Establishment Clause

Over the last few decades, a religious movement has gained widespread political power with the stated intent of turning back the clock by dismantling the Establishment Clause, which requires separation of church and state.

 
 

California lawmaker withdraws bill that would criminalize religion-based "gay conversion therapy"

California lawmaker withdraws bill that would criminalize religion-based "gay conversion therapy"

Earlier today, California Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) withdrew a bill that would have outlaws the sale of any service, including certain forms of advertising, that were intended to change an individual's sexuality or gender identity. Assembly Bill 2943 had already passed the Assembly and Senate and was one vote away from the governor's desk.