LOS ANGELES, CA – While most legal writing competitions ask participants to pick a side, Founders First Freedom is asking for much more in its inaugural law student writing competition. Participating students will review pleadings and amicus briefs in a case currently before the United States Supreme Court, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, and write model majority decisions that weigh both […]
Donald Trump's transition team is making plans to occupy the White House. What does this mean for religious liberty?
In a stunning report, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Chairman Martin Castro attacked the Religious Freedom Restoration Act at both the state and federal level, challenged the terms "religious liberty" and "religious liberty" as code for intolerance, and argued that free exercise rights should yield to other civil rights if they come into conflict.
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a Washington state requirement that all pharmacies must fill contraceptives regardless of the religious objections of the owners.
Constitutional rights, particularly those in the Bill of Rights are guarantees of personal freedoms and are expressed in terms of the government's limited powers.
By Jason Hines, PhD, JD – Prior to 1990, the Supreme Court’s standard in determining whether a law violated a citizen’s free exercise of religion was intimately tied to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. An Adventist, Adele Sherbert, sued to receive unemployment benefits after she was fired from her job because she refused to work on the Sabbath. In the case that now bears her name, Sherbert v. Verner, the Court ruled in her favor, establishing the rule that the government could not substantially burden a citizen’s religious freedom unless the government had a compelling interest and had narrowly tailored the measure to minimize infringement.
This morning the eight-member United States Supreme Court heard the contraceptive mandate cases that were consolidated under the name Zubik v. Burwell (Docket Number 15-191). (See transcript.) They key issue in all the cases was religious employers who rejected the method of receiving the "religious employer exemption" to the Affordable Care Act (2010) which required group health plans and insurance issues to offer plans that provided "approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity."
This morning President Obama threw a straight pitch directly into the strike zone when he nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the United States Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland, currently the chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was confirmed to that court in 1997 with bipartisan Congressional support and has been well regarded by both Democrats and Republicans.
In an effort to understand the longest-serving Justice's influence and the importance of his replacement, here is a brief survey of how Scalia decided in several key cases.
The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Missouri taxpayers can be compelled to pay for "non-sectarian" church upgrades. Case: Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley