Religious Liberty

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Vatican calls for religious freedom amidst competing strains of secularism and fundamentalism

The Little Sisters of The Poor rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC March 23, 2016.  -  American Life League - Creative Commons license

The Vatican has released a document, "Religious Liberty for the Good of All," calling for an expansion of religious liberty in the face of competing strains of religious fundamentalism and secular intolerance. While not addressing each and every conflict, the document is intended to express the relationship between civil law and religious law in the context of theology, anthropology, and political science.

 
 

Another cake case gives Court opportunity to resolve free exercise confusion

Supreme Court of the United States

Too broad an exception from neutral, generally applicable law, and protections against discrimination vanish. Too narrow an exception and free exercise of religion protections vanish. What is clear is that these cases will continue to make their way through the lower courts with differing results until the Supreme Court makes a decision.  

 
 

New York Court Upholds Emergency Mandatory Vaccination

New York Court Upholds Emergency Mandatory Vaccination

Taking the significance of the public health emergency and religious beliefs into account when deciding what to do in these circumstances is difficult. It is too easy to dismiss religious claims as unscientific and foolish in the face of a measles outbreak, but in so doing it behooves the parties to seek a compromise

 
 

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. 

 
 

Historic Churches, WWI Crosses, and Constitutional Confusion at Supreme Court

Historic Churches, WWI Crosses, and Constitutional Confusion at Supreme Court

Whether a religious symbol or edifice needs to masquerade as a secular structure in order to escape Establishment Clause scrutiny is at issue in two major cases at the United State Supreme Court.

 
 

Founders' First Freedom Announces Essay Contest Winners

Founders' First Freedom Announces Essay Contest Winners

Founders' First Freedom is pleased to announce the Founders' First Freedom High School and College Essay Contest winners.

 
 

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.