Legal Issues

Supreme Court Requests Solicitor General's Opinion on Sabbath Accommodation Case

Supreme Court Requests Solicitor General's Opinion on Sabbath Accommodation Case

The value of the Patterson case does not merely hinge on its facts, which would likely have to be developed at the trial level, but more importantly, it provides a vehicle for the Circuit courts to obtain needed guidance from the Supreme Court in order to consistently interpret Title VII religious accommodation requirements. 

 
 

Supreme Court: The 8th Amendment's Excessive Fines Clause is incorporated against the states via the 14th Amendment

Supreme Court: The 8th Amendment's Excessive Fines Clause is incorporated against the states via the 14th Amendment

This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that the 14th Amendment applies the "Excessive Fines Clause" of the 8th Amendment to the states.

 
 

Parties objecting to regulatory decision must follow administrative process

Parties objecting to regulatory decision must follow administrative process

This week the Supreme Court denied certiorari in a case where nuns filed their Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) case opposing a pipeline across their property in the wrong venue and ignored the required dispute resolution process.

 
 

High Court decision on Muslim clergy at execution challenges rule of law

High Court decision on Muslim clergy at execution challenges rule of law

In ruling that an unwritten rule, quite possibly manufactured after the execution was already scheduled, should not be subject to a judicial Establishment Clause and potentially Free Exercise Clause analysis, the Court has created a troubling precedent that targets the principle of the rule of law.

 
 

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.