Legal Issues

Court rules agency can decide if employers must provide contraceptive coverage

Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme Court sidesteps the free exercise claim and grants government agencies the power to determine whether to apply the ACA contraceptive mandates to employers. 

 
 

Supreme Court: Religious schools immune from teachers' discrimination claims

Supreme Court of the United States

The ethical and moral onus is now on religious institutions as they decide whether to fire "ministerial" employees for reasons illegal in the secular world, such as age or the need for cancer treatment. Institutions engaging in this kind of discriminatory tactic will still need to answer to a Higher Source who will not be impressed with their ability to obtain summary judgment. The way for religious institutions to "win" these cases is to avoid them in the first place by taking the lead in treating employees with the highest degree of care and concern.

 
 

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. 

 
 

Soros-backed bid to eliminate anti-prostitution pledge loses at SCOTUS

Soros-backed bid to eliminate anti-prostitution pledge loses at SCOTUS

The Supreme Court has ruled against George Soros' Open Society Foundations and upheld a law requiring foreign NGOs receiving funds to sign an anti-prostitution pledge.

 
 

Court strikes down Louisiana law that abortion doctors must have admitting privileges at local hospital

Supreme Court of the United States

This morning the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The issue in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, was whether this limit actually protected the health of pregnant women and wasn’t in place just to make it more difficult to have an abortion. This was very similar to the issue the Court last visited in 2016 (Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt) when it overturned a Texas abortion doctor admitting privileges requirement.

 
 

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.

 
 

COVID-19 aid package that does not exclude churches passes with bipartisan support

COVID-19 aid package that does not exclude churches passes with bipartisan support

Although the Small Business Administration typically works with for-profit enterprises, the CARES Act does not exclude non-profit organizations from this funding, including churches. Banks will distribute these loans to qualifying organizations on a first-come, first-served basis. 

 
 

Supreme Court considers standing and medical necessity of admitting privileges in Louisiana abortion case

Supreme Court considers standing and medical necessity of admitting privileges in Louisiana abortion case

esterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments (link to transcript) in the Louisiana abortion case, Russo v. June Medical Services. This case is a challenge to a new Louisiana state law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles. Because the admitting privileges requirements can be onerous, such as admitting at […]

 
 

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.