Count 12 concerned a change in respondent's chambers relating to marriage requests that he received after issuance of a federal court ruling, in May 2014, that had invalidated Oregon's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Before that ruling, respondent had made himself available to solemnize marriages. After that ruling, he told his staff that, upon receiving any marriage request, they should check for any personal gender information available in the court's case register system, to try to determine whether the request involved a same-sex couple. If so, they should tell the couple that he was not available on the requested date or otherwise notify him so that he could decide how to proceed. If the request were from an opposite-sex couple, however, then they should schedule the wedding date. Respondent's judicial assistant checked the system one time and determined that a requesting couple might be a same-sex couple, but respondent had an actual scheduling conflict, so she truthfully told the couple that he was not available. Several weeks after that, respondent stopped solemnizing all marriages. The Court concluded that respondent's conduct had been willful and had violated Rule 3.3(B) (prohibiting manifestation of bias or prejudice in the performance of judicial duties) and related constitutional provisions. The Court did not address a number of constitutional challenges that respondent had raised as affirmative defenses to Count 12. It explained that, in light of the other, notably serious misconduct that the commission had proved by clear and convincing evidence, the misconduct at issue under Count 12 would not affect its consideration of the appropriate sanction, regardless of whether those constitutional challenges were meritorious or not.Progressive Secular Humanist blog reports on the decision.
A liberal reading of plaintiff’s amended complaint suggests Twum-Baah claims officers Verdejo, Ortiz, and Henderon violated his First Amendment rights to freely exercise his religion and to peaceably assemble with the Excursionist Association for El Yunque.... Nonetheless, the Court’s understanding of Bivens and subsequent decisions by the Supreme Court compels it to find Bivens claims are not available for violations of the First Amendment’s Free Exercise clause.
The Complaint alleges that neither Dr. Mahdy nor his wife gave permission to anyone to photograph J.M., to disclose her identity to the public, or to falsely associate her with the Children’s Hospital Destination Excellence Program.... The Complaint alleges that J.M. had to be removed from MECC due to the "wave of Islamophobia that is currently sweeping across our country," and because her family was "so distressed over the prejudice and discriminatory treatment expressed against Arabic-speaking students."
The State argues that Roe and Casey do not apply for two reasons. First, the State argues the “Supreme Court of the United States has never recognized a right to abort an unborn child on the basis of a disability.”... The State suggests that Roe and Casey only apply to women who accidentally become pregnant.... The State argues that women only have the right to choose whether to have a child, not the right to decide whether to have a particular child....
This argument is not well-taken. The interest protected by the Due Process Clause is a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy pre-viability, and that right is categorical.Reacting to the decision, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said:
I strongly disagree with the district court's ruling that there is a categorical right to abortion that prevents even any consideration of Ohio's profound interests in combatting discrimination against a class of human beings based upon disability. We will be appealing.Jurist reports on the decision.
does not contain sufficient factual allegations from which the court can reasonably infer that A.M. was subject to unequal disciplinary treatment based on his religion or race....Daily Caller reports on the decision.
The State Defendants have taken the position that Nathan’s and Christine’s declaration to be husband and wife, without the accompanying possession of a state-issued marriage license, is insufficient to violate the Montana bigamy statutes. Therefore, this case presents the unusual situation where the State of Montana has taken the position that the Colliers’ conduct is not criminal, while the Colliers insist that it is.Plaintiffs also challenge the state's refusal to issue a marriage license for Collier's marriage to his second wife. The court held that the state's anti-polygamy law is constitutional, relying on the U.S. Supreme Court's 1878 decision in Reynolds v. United States. Billings Gazette reports on the decision.
At this point in time it cannot be said that the DMHC would deny a health care plan’s request to offer the exemption sought by Plaintiff because no such plan has been submitted. Thus, the existence of a controversy depends on a factual scenario that may or may not materialize, making this case unfit for review.
To comply with Title VII, an employer is not required to offer a choice of several accommodations or to prove that the employee’s proposed accommodation would pose an undue hardship; instead, the employer must show only “that the employee was offered a reasonable accommodation, ‘regardless of whether that accommodation is one which the employee suggested.’”...
Walgreens decided to terminate his employment only after he failed to conduct the emergency training session, insisted that Walgreens guarantee that he would never have to work on his Sabbath, and refused to consider other employment options within the company without such a guarantee.[Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead.]
the constitutionality of such grants must be evaluated under our three-factor test: a judge must consider whether a motivating purpose of each grant is to aid the church, whether the grant will have the effect of substantially aiding the church, and whether the grant avoids the risks of the political and economic abuses that prompted the passage of the anti-aid amendment. We also conclude that, in light of the history of the anti-aid amendment, a grant of public funds to an active church warrants careful scrutiny....
[W]e conclude that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim with respect to the stained glass grant. Although the record before us does not allow us to ascertain whether there is a motivating purpose behind this grant other than historic preservation, its effect is to substantially aid the church in its essential function and, given the explicit religious imagery of the stained glass, it fails to avoid the very risks that the framers of the anti-aid amendment hoped to avoid....
With respect to the Master Plan grant, we conclude that further discovery is needed before a determination should be made as to whether the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim. This is in part because, unlike the stained glass grant, the Master Plan grant is far broader in its scope, including not only plans for the renovation of worship space but also plans for the renovation of the Fletcher and Hosmer Houses, which are both private residences....Justice Kafker, joined by Justice Gaziono filed a concurring opinion. Justice Cypher filed a dissenting opinion. MassLive reports on the decision.
Mr. Penn—a former duty chaplain at New York Methodist Hospital—brought a lawsuit alleging that New York Methodist Hospital and Peter Poulos discriminated against him on the basis of his race and religion, and retaliated against him after he filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York City Commission on Human Rights. New York Methodist Hospital, because of its history and continuing purpose, through its Department of Pastoral Care, is a “religious group.” Mr. Penn’s role within the Department of Pastoral Care was to provide religious care to the hospital’s patients and religious care only. Therefore, the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses warrant the application of the ministerial exception doctrine and the dismissal of this lawsuit.Judge Droney dissented, saying in part:
The presence of a non‐sectarian chaplaincy department cannot transform an otherwise secular hospital into a religious institution for purposes of the ministerial exception. If it could, most hospitals would be exempt from anti‐discrimination laws, as most—even clearly secular hospitals—have chaplaincy departments.... Moreover, the interfaith nature of the Department means that it is not run according to the tenets of any particular religion, thereby reducing the likelihood that evaluating the reasons for the termination of an employee such as Penn would “plunge [a court] into a maelstrom of Church policy, administration, and governance.”Courthouse News Service reports on the decision.
Ms. Lindecrantz is in a tough spot — caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. We take no pleasure in declining to extricate her. But the state of the law being what it is, decline we must.Colorado Public Radio, reporting on the decision, says that an appeal will be filed with the Colorado Supreme Court.
There is ample evidence to support the fact that the children were removed because the Baars refused to either tell or imply that the Easter Bunny was delivering chocolate to the Baars' home. I am more than satisfied that the society actions interfered substantially with the Baars' religious beliefs.