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Akron Law Café -- Community Blog

From the category archives:

Establishment Clause

Was Jesus for Small Government?

April 16, 2012

This story on NPR is why I teach Law and Theology (occasionally). Our ideas and beliefs, whether implicit or explicit, about the nature of God's judgement and grace impact our ideas about human behavior and markets, and therefore about law.

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Petitioner's Brief in Hosannah-Tabor Church and School v. EEOC

September 8, 2011

In this case, described generally in yesterday's post, a teacher, Cheryl Perich, who suffers from narcolepsy, is suing her former employer, the Hosannah-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, on the ground that she was fired because she threatened to file a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The parochial school that is the defendant in this case […]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term (1): Hosannah-Tabor Church and School v. EEOC – The Ministerial Exception to Employment Discrimination Laws

September 7, 2011

This case involves a parochial school teacher who was fired because of a disability.  Her employer claimed that it was exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act because of the "ministerial exception," a judge-created doctrine that exempts religious organizations from the operation of civil rights laws in cases involving "ministerial employees." 

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The Murfeesboro Mosque, Herman Cain, RLUIPA, and the First Amendment

July 16, 2011

The AP reports Herman Cain opposes planned Tennessee mosque.  In remarks to reporters at a campaign stop at Murfeesboro, Tennessee, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain voiced opposition to the construction of a mosque in that city.  This matter brings to mind a number of important aspects of freedom of religion.

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Sectarian Prayer at Memorial Day Ceremony Upheld

May 29, 2011

A federal district court judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the Department of Veteran's Affairs allowing a Christian minister to deliver a sectarian invocation at a Memorial Day ceremony.

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The Mount Soledad Cross Case

January 6, 2011

     There is a huge cross – 29 feet tall and weighing 24 tons - on federal land at Mount Soledad in San Diego, California.  Two days ago the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the existence of this cross on government land constitutes a violation of the Establishment Clause.

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Ezra Klein's Gaffe: Belittling the Constititution by Considering Only the Text

January 1, 2011

     Ezra Klein, a columnist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, put his foot in it on national television two days ago when he said that the Constitution was "written more than 100 years ago" and "confusing," implying that it is irrelevant to today's society.  Breaking news, Ezra: the Constitution is the foundation for all of […]

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A Comparison of the Manhattan Declaration and the Barmen Declaration

December 13, 2010

     In yesterday's post I described the Manhattan Declaration, a position paper on abortion and same-sex marriage issued by conservative Christians .  In today's post I compare the Manhattan Declaration to the Barmen Declaration.

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Does a Parochial School Have a Constitutional Right to Fire a Teacher in Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act?

November 21, 2010

     In 2005 the Hosannah-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School fired Cheryl Perich, a teacher, because she had narcolepsy.  Does the school have a constitutional right to do this even if the school's action violates the Americans with Disabilities Act?

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Freedom From Religion v. Hanover School District: Pledge of Allegiance Upheld

November 14, 2010

     A federal appeals court has ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is constitutional.

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2010-2011 Supreme Court Term: Oral Argument in Arizona Christian School Organization v. Winn

November 13, 2010

     Arizona law grants taxpayers a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for contributions to School Tuition Organizations (STOs) that fund tuition scholarships for children to attend school.  The three largest such organizations are affiliated with religious schools.  The Arizona taxpayers challenging this law contend that the program violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution because it is, […]

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James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Roger Williams on the Separation of Church and State

October 20, 2010

     Ben Evans of the AP reports that Christine O'Donnell has expressed the opinion that the Constitution does not embody the principle of "separation of church and state."   Is she correct?

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