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establishment clause

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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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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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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2010-2011 Supreme Court Term: The Individual Rights Cases

September 21, 2010

     The Supreme Court has agreed to decide five individual rights cases in the coming term: two freedom of speech cases, an informational privacy case, an Establishment Clause case, and an Equal Protection case.

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Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (Part 6): Does a Religious Organization Have Greater Constitutional Rights to Discriminate than Other Groups?

January 9, 2010

     In this final installment on this pending case I discuss whether or not a religious organization like CLS has a constitutional right to discriminate that is superior to the rights that other advocacy groups might have.

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Atheist Elected in North Carolina, Presenting an Easy Religious Freedom Case

December 15, 2009

     David Waters of the Washington Post reports that Cecil Bothwell, an atheist, was elected to city council in Asheville, North Carolina, despite a provision of the North Carolina state constitution which provides that "any person who shall deny the being of the Almighty God" is disqualified from holding public office.  This presents an easy [...]

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Supreme Court 2009-2010 Term: (1) Salazar v. Buono – Cross on Public Land

October 26, 2009

     On October 7 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Salazar v. Buono, which involves the constitutionality of a cross that had been erected on public land.  More below.

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Rosado v. Bridgeport Diocese: Privacy, Freedom of Religion, and the Public's Right to Know

July 23, 2009

     On June 2, 2009, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of Rosado v. Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation ordering the release of over 12,000 documents, previously under seal, describing how the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, had handled allegations of sexual abuse in 23 separate cases.  On July 17 the [...]

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