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freedom of religion

My Research Projects

February 13, 2012

I am working on three major research projects: one short-term, and two others longer term.

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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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"Angels" Plan to Respond to the Westboro Church Protesters

January 12, 2011

     According to this report from CNN, the Westboro Church intends to protest the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed in the recent Arizona shootings.  Nearly all Americans are united in their reaction to the Westboro Church. 

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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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The Park51 Islamic Cultural Center Debate

August 24, 2010

     Here are links to competing views about the Park51 Islamic Cultural Center.  I also offer my opinion on the subject.

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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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Christian Legal Society Chapter v. Martinez (Part 2)

January 5, 2010

     The difficulty of this case stems from the number of constitutional doctrines and principles which are intertwined, a tangled skein of general rules and fundamental values.

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2009-2010 Supreme Court Term: (4) Christian Legal Society Chapter v. Martinez (Part 1) – Do Universities Have to Recognize (and Fund) Student Religious Organizations That Discriminate?

January 4, 2010

     This term Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Christian Legal Society Chapter v. Martinez.  In today's post I will introduce the topic, and in subsequent posts I will analyze different aspects of the case.

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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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2009-2010 Supreme Court Term: (3) McComb v. Crehan – Student Religious Speech at Graduation

November 25, 2009

     The Constitution contains two provisions protecting freedom of religion: the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.  There are many situations where these two clauses conflict.  Cases where students wish to speak about their religion at graduation is one of those situations.

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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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