America is no stranger to anti-Semitism, which is often rooted in prejudice against a person based on his heritage/ethnicity without regard to the person’s particular religious beliefs. Jewish citizens have been excluded from certain clubs or neighborhoods, and they have been denied jobs and other opportunities based on the fact that they were Jewish, with no particular concern as to a given individual’s religious leanings. Thus, they have been treated like a racial or ethnic group that Title VII was designed to protect from employment discrimination based on membership in that group.AP reports on the decision.
The [district] court’s analysis of the free exercise and establishment clause claims begs the fundamental, novel issues presented under these circumstances. The court’s rejection of the free speech, association, and petition claims too narrowly construes the nature of chilling effects on those rights while overbroadly interpreting the importance to the plaintiffs of the discovery sought here....
[T]he claim of religious organizations to maintain their internal organizational autonomy intact from ordinary discovery should be at least as secure as the protection constitutionally afforded other associations. Supreme Court decisions have protected religious organizations’ internal deliberations and decision-making in numerous ways.... Although none have spoken directly to discovery orders in litigation, the importance of securing religious groups’ institutional autonomy, while allowing them to enter the public square, cannot be understated and reflects consistent prior case law.The majority however, pointing to the rule of constitutional avoidance, decided the case on the basis of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 45(d) which calls for quashing a subpoena when it imposes an undue burden.
CSS’s compliance with the terms of the Services Contract does not: constrain or inhibit CSS from conduct or expression mandated by its religious beliefs, curtail CSS’s ability to express adherence to CSS’s religious faith, deny CSS a reasonable opportunity to “provide foster care to children,” or compel CSS to engage in conduct or expression that violates a “specific tenet” of CSS’s religious faith....
CSS contends that the provision of certification services for same-sex couples would require CSS to express its religious approval of same-sex relationships in contravention of Catholic teaching about marriage. This is not the case. To illustrate this point, if, for example, CSS were to certify a couple where one spouse is previously divorced, CSS’s certification would not suggest that CSS approved of divorce as a religious matter.Philadelphia Inquirerreports on the decision.
that promote the existence or non-existence of a supreme deity, deities, being or beings; that address, promote, criticize or attack a religion or religions, religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs; that directly quote or cite scriptures, religious text or texts involving religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs; or are otherwise religious in nature.The suit was brought by the Freethought Society after its proposed ad was rejected. In ruling for the Transit Authority, the court held that:
COLTS’ advertising space is a limited forum and that COLTS did not violate Freethought’s First Amendment free speech rights when it refused to display Freethought’s advertisements containing the word “atheists” on COLTS’ buses.Scranton Times Tribunereports on the decision.
The head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Dominik Duka, has filed a lawsuit over a pair of theatre plays staged in Brno in May.... The... plays Our Violence, Your Violence and The Curse included a scene in which Jesus rapes a Muslim woman as well as a depiction of Pope John Paul II in a state of tumescence....
Cardinal Duka says that the theatre show represented an attack on his rights guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms... specifically... freedom of religion and the right to dignity and honour....
JMGC lures people who are looking for spiritual direction and altruistic involvement.... When prospective members wish to advance their association with JMGC and share details of their personal lives with Defendants, Defendants collectively engage in a process designed to control, isolate, shame, emotionally harm, and take advantage of the prospective members.... Members who dissent or question the leadership’s directives become the targets of “shaming conduct”—meaning that Defendants “collectively disseminate false information coupled with outrageous accusations, in CoW communications, designed solely to cause dissenting members substantial emotional and psychological trauma.”... Dissenting members are subjected to this “shaming conduct” until they recant their dissent or quit the organization....Finding that the 1st Amendment requires dismissal, the court said in part:
JMGC/CoW, an organization that exists to promote its reincarnation-based spiritual doctrine and whose membership is required to adhere to its “religious” precepts, is entitled to First Amendment protections against tort claims on par with churches and other religious organizations. That is,... JMGC/CoW retains exclusive control, protected by the First Amendment, over matters concerning “theological controversy, church discipline, ecclesiastical government, or the conformity of the members of the church to the standard of morals required of them.”...
As alleged in the Complaint, the conduct giving rise to Plaintiff’s claims originally stemmed from an internal dispute between Plaintiff and the leadership of JMGC prompted by Plaintiff’s “inquiring nature” and her “resistance” to the directives of the leadership. It is evident from the face of the Complaint, however, that JMGC is an authoritarian organization that does not permit dissent or questions regarding its doctrines or leadership. Thus, when she dissented from and questioned the leadership’s directives, to permit Plaintiff to pursue her claim for damages based on Defendants’ having ostracized and defamed her would, in the context of this case, amount to impermissible government interference with Defendants’ right to practice their faith....
The statements and conduct giving rise to Plaintiff’s lawsuit cannot be adjudicated without impermissible intrusion upon Defendants’ right, guaranteed by the First Amendment, to freely exercise their religion. Each of Plaintiff’s claims, if adjudicated in a civil trial, would require the jury (or judge in the role of fact-finder) to resolve questions that are rooted in religion. For example, in order to succeed in her defamation claim or in her false light invasion of privacy claim, Plaintiff would have to prove, among other things that, as a matter of fact, Plaintiff does not: have “a split who is a porn star”; Plaintiff’s soul has not been part of “several sex cults”; and that no aspect of Plaintiff’s soul was sexually or financially “predatory” within JMGC/CoW.
In 1871, Congress passed a law “directed at the organized terrorism in the Reconstruction South[.]”... 42 U.S.C. § 1985. Over a hundred and forty years later... the Defendants..., including the Ku Klux Klan, various neo-Nazi organizations, and associated white supremacists, held rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia. Violence erupted.... Plaintiffs, allege that this violence was no accident. Instead, they allege the Defendants violated the 1871 Act and related state laws by conspiring to engage in violence against racial minorities and their supporters. The Defendants retort that they were simply engaged in lawful, if unpopular, political protest and so their conduct is protected by the First Amendment. While ultimate resolution of what happened at the rallies awaits another day, the Court holds the Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged the Defendants formed a conspiracy to commit the racial violence that led to the Plaintiffs’ varied injuries. Accordingly, the Plaintiffs’ claims largely survive, although one Defendant is dismissed and other claims are pared down.WTVR reports on the decision.
Estate of Coll-Monge v. Inner Peace Movement, 524 F.3d 1341 (2008)
* Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches v. United States Navy (In re Navy Chaplaincy), 534 F.3d 756 (2008) [majority opinion]
St. John's United Church of Christ v. FAA, 550 F.3d 1168 (2008)
Kaemmerling v. Lappin, 553 F.3d 669 (2008)
* Newdow v. Roberts, 603 F.3d 1002 (2010)[concurring opinion]
Daniel Chapter One v. FTC, 405 Fed. Appx. 505 (2010)
* Mahoney v. Doe, 642 F.3d 1112 (2011) [concurring opinion]
United States v. Moore, 651 F.3d 30 (2011)
Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches v. United States Navy (In re Navy Chaplaincy), 738 F.3d 425 (2013)
In re Charges of Judicial Misconduct, 769 F.3d 762 (2014)
* Priests for Life v. United States HHS, 808 F.3d 1 (2015) [dissenting opinion]
There is no doubt that the Catholic Church stands out for its commitment to the right to life from conception until natural death. This ethic has profound consequences not only for abortion, but for many other areas of life, including the death penalty, the application of scientific research to human subjects, the right to adequate health care, and the role of the state in promoting the common good. Our civil society will be all the poorer if Senators, as a matter of practice, reject well-qualified judicial nominees whose consciences have been formed in this ethic.UPDATE: Americans United has also prepared a report (full text) on Kavanaugh's church-state and religious liberty record. In addition to opinions, the report identifies relevant briefs and a lecture.
Society is continuously changing and family structures are changing along with it. This must be recognized as a reality and not as a detriment to the best interests of the child.