Religious Liberty

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BREAKING: Supreme Court says WWI Cross can stand due to age

By Ben Jacobson (Kranar Drogin) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

There's an old adage that bad facts make bad law, and in this case, given political exigencies, there was little to no chance that the Court would have found that the cross must be removed from public property. While we had previously anticipated that denying the case based on standing would have been the "easy answer," the Court issued a ruling today that addressed the cross on the merits. Now our attention turns to whether there is collateral damage to the substance of the Establishment Clause.

 
 

FFRF decides not to appeal 7th Circuit opinion upholding parsonage allowance

FFRF decides not to appeal 7th Circuit opinion upholding parsonage allowance

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has decided not to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 7th Circuit decision in Gaylor v. Mnuchin  (7th Cir., March 15, 2019) upholding a clergy-specific tax-free housing allowance provision in the IRS code. The secular organization has consistently argued that Internal Revenue Code Sec. 107(2) violates the Establishment Clause. 

 
 

Why the Free Exercise Clause needs to be strengthened

Why the Free Exercise Clause needs to be strengthened

The Free Exercise Clause that guarantees religious freedom is much weaker than most people realize.  While freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and even the establishment clause are subject to highest "strict scrutiny" levels of protection, the free exercise of religion receives the lowest level of protection – the "rational basis test." 

 
 

High Court reverses Oregon finding against bakers and sends case back to lower court for further review

High Court reverses Oregon finding against bakers and sends case back to lower court for further review

The Supreme Court appears reluctant to squarely address the balance between the free exercise of religion and anti-discrimination statutes, or to discuss a claim for hybrid-rights combining "rational basis" free exercise rights with "strict scrutiny" free speech rights.

 
 

Supreme Court rules that Title VII EEOC filing requirements are mandatory but not jurisdictional

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court issued a ruling on June 3, 2019, in a case (Fort Bend County v. Davis)  involving whether a court may hear a discrimination case where the plaintiff fails to raise all charges in an initial EEOC complaint.  The Court found that the Title VII's rules are procedural, not jurisdictional, and as such procedural defenses need to be raised early in a case.

 
 

In Congress, Federal Equality Act as drafted faces feminist opposition

In Congress, Federal Equality Act as drafted faces feminist opposition

Legislation that would add sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 threatens women's bodily privacy says feminist organization

 
 

Podcast highlights religious liberty and social justice through Adventist lens

Podcast host Peter Chung and guest Ivor Meyers

Peter Chung, a history teacher at San Gabriel Academy in Southern California, hosts a religious liberty and social justice podcast series, "Healing the Nations," that addresses current issues "through the lens of the historical religious liberty view of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

 
 

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