Religious Institutions

Did the Supreme Court open the door to regulation of religious schools?

Did the Supreme Court open the door to regulation of religious schools?

With the death of state Blaine Amendments this week, religious schools that welcome state money might find that they are now subject to regulation that may undermine their very reason for existence. 

 
 

Supreme Court Update: Bostock

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court has held 6-3 that "discrimination based on homosexuality or transgender status necessarily entails [unlawful] discrimination based on sex" under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

 
 

Federal Court rules church can be excluded from California city downtown area

A federal court in the San Francisco Bay Area has determined that churches do not contribute to a vibrant and fun atmosphere and therefore may be excluded from Salinas' downtown area.

 
 

Supreme Court finds Puerto Rico court lacked jurisdiction to seize Catholic assets to pay school pension obligations

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court ruled today per curiam that the Puerto Rico Supreme Court erred when it determined that the "Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church" was responsible for properly administering a pension plan for the employees of Catholic Schools Trust.

 
 

Supreme Court agrees to hear Philadelphia faith-based adoption agency case

Supreme Court of the United States

On February 24, 2020, the Supreme court agreed to hear an appeal brought against the city of Philadelphia by Catholic Social Services (CSS). The city has a standing policy of not referring foster children to CSS because CSS will not certify same-sex couples as foster parents.

 
 

Judge dismisses pension funding case against religious hospital chain

This decision is a good primer on the actual harm element requirement needed in order to have standing in Federal Court.

 
 

Methodist denomination files suit alleging SMU covertly severed relationship with church

The United Methodist Church, via a regional conference, has sued for injunctive relief, alleging that Southern Methodist University (SMU) "covertly" modified its bylaws to eliminate church control over the 12,000-student Texas institution.

 
 

California Court: Transgender person can sue Catholic hospital for discrimination for initially denying transition surgery

California Court: Transgender person can sue Catholic hospital for discrimination for initially denying transition surgery

A California Court of Appeals has ruled that a religious hospital can be liable for discrimination if it refuses to provide medical services for religious reasons without immediately providing a referral to a hospital that will accommodate the patient.  

 
 

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.