Legal Issues

Supreme Court hears public sector union compulsory speech case

Supreme Court hears public sector union compulsory speech case

Today the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case involving whether it constitutional to require government employees who do not join their respective unions to still pay fees to the unions for the cost of negotiating and administering their employment contracts.

 
 

#MeToo isn't enough – act now to prevent and stop sexual abuse

#MeToo isn't enough – act now to prevent and stop sexual abuse

The #MeToo movement has opened the floodgates on sexual abuse allegations. Now it is up to churches, schools, and institutions to prevent it, and for parents to know the signs of sexual abuse to protect their children.

 
 

Dangerous Money: Gov't money to churches has strings attached

Dangerous Money: Gov't money to churches has strings attached

Would you choose to mount a sixteen-foot maraschino cherry on the roof of your church?  You probably wouldn’t, but would you consider doing so if it were part of a deal where your church would receive a large donation?  This situation may seem ridiculous, but many times government money offered to religious institutions has very troubling “strings” attached. 

 
 

PA Court flushes Amish free exercise claim after 8-year sewer battle

PA Court flushes Amish free exercise claim after 8-year sewer battle

An eight-year conflict has left a Pennsylvania family struggling to practice their faith against a sewage ordinance in Sugar Grove Township, Pennsylvania. Joseph and Barbara Yoder, an Old Order Amish family, have been ordered by local courts to install an electric pump in their outhouse, an action that directly contradicts their religious beliefs.

 
 

Court orders parties to brief Establishment Clause issue in travel ban case

Court orders parties to brief Establishment Clause issue in travel ban case

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Trump v. Hawaii (Docket No. 17-965) and directed the parties to prepare briefs and arguments on the issue of whether President Donald Trump's travel ban, Proclamation No. 9645, also known as Executive Order 3 (EO-3), violates the Establishment Clause. 

 
 

Proposed New York guidelines could permit public school districts to regulate private schools

The state of New York is considering guidelines that could dramatically change the relationship between public and private schools.

 
 

10th Cir. reverses summary judgment in Title VII Sabbath accommodation case

10th Cir. reverses summary judgment in Title VII Sabbath accommodation case

On January 17, 2018, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court improperly granted summary judgment against plaintiffs in a holy day observance case.

 
 

When Not to Tell the Story: The Ethics of Announcing a Religious Conversion

When Not to Tell the Story: The Ethics of Announcing a Religious Conversion

Churches like nothing more than to have a wonderful and exciting conversion story to proclaim to the world.  What happens if proclaiming such a story puts lives in danger?  What happens when a person is put in danger against his will?  These questions have been at the center of a fascinating legal case, Doe v. First Presbyterian Church U.S.A. of Tulsa, (OK Sup. Ct., Dec. 19, 2017), involving a church that announced on the internet how one converted from Islam to Christianity.  

 
 

Supreme Court declines Establishment Clause challenge to Mississippi LGBT law

Supreme Court declines Establishment Clause challenge to Mississippi LGBT law

On Monday, January 8, 2018, the United States Supreme Court declined to review both Barber v. Bryant and Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant, two suits filed against Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant contesting the state's law (HB 1523) which allows public officials and businesses to deny services to LGBT people for religious reasons.

 
 

Why Congress dropped the Johnson Amendment repeal from tax reform

Why Congress dropped the Johnson Amendment repeal from tax reform

As part of the final push to enact tax reform before the end of the year, a proposed tax code change that would permit churches and other non-profit organizations to engage in partisan political campaigning has been dropped from the House and Senate reconciliation version of 2017 tax bill. Although the House version of the bill had included a repeal of the controversial Johnson Amendment, the Senate version kept it intact. Proponents of the repeal have argued for the right of pastors to speak freely about candidates from the pulpit, and opponents claim it would provide a "dark money" tax-exempt way to launder otherwise non-tax deductible campaign donations.