Wednesday, 29 March 2017, 11:35 pm PDT

Latest News

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Blankenship v. Setzer, (4th Cir. , March 16, 2017), the 4th Circuit held that a Christian inmate adequately alleged RLUIPA and 1st Amendment claims when he objected to the refusal by a... [read more]

Religion Clause

Russian Officials Forcing Sochi's Rabbi To Leave The Country

Interfax reports that Rabbi Ari Leib Edelkopf who has led the Jewish community in the Russian city of Sochi is being forced to leave Russia.  Edelkopf, a U. S. citizen since 1978, obtained a R... [read more]

Religion Clause

Judge Sued Over Opening Prayers In Courtroom

Freedom From Religion Foundation filed suit last week in a Texas federal district court against a Montgomery County, Texas Justice of the Peace who opens his court sessions with a chaplain-led pray... [read more]

Religion Clause

Suit Claims Forced Baptism of Child Facilitated By Guardian Ad Litem

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on this week's filing in an Ohio federal district court of a lawsuit  alleging that a court-appointed CASA volunteer acting as guardian ad litem ... [read more]

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Kentucky, Nebraska Enacts New Protections For Religion In Schools

Two states this month have enacted legislation aimed at enhancing free exercise rights in the public school context. In Kentucky, on March 16 Governor Matt Bevin signed SB 17 which protects th... [read more]

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Virginia Federal Court OK's Trump's Second Travel Ban EO

While federal district courts in Hawaii and Maryland have issued nationwide injunctions barring enforcement of President Trump's second travel ban Executive Order finding that it violates the Esta... [read more]

Religion Clause

Religious Exemptions In ACA and FICA Upheld

In Olson v. Social Security Administration, 2017 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 41469 (D ND, March 22, 2017), a North Dakota federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendations (2017 U. S. Dist.... [read more]

Religion Clause

Another Suit Challenges Trump's Latest Travel Ban Executive Order

Last week, another suit was filed challenging President Trump's latest travel ban Executive Order on, among others, Establishment Clause and equal protection grounds.   The suit was brou... [read more]

Religion Clause

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments In ERISA "Church Plan" Cases

The U. S. Supreme Court today heard consolidated oral arguments in three cases raising the question of when pension plans of religiously affiliated health care systems qualify for the "churc... [read more]

Religion Clause

5th Circuit Upholds Student Invocations At School Board Meetings

In American Humanist Association v. Mc Carty, (5th Cir. , March 20, 2017), the U. S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a school board's practice of opening its meetings with presentations f... [read more]

Religion Clause

Religion Clause To Take A Publication Break

Dear Readers:Religion Clause will be going on a publication break until approximately the end of March.  Check back for my resumption of postings at that time. Howard Friedman [read more]

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Recent Articles of Interest

From SSRN:Rafael Domingo, Theology and Jurisprudence. A Good Partnership? , (Journal of Law and Religion, 32, 2017, Forthcoming). Rafael Domingo, The Constitutional Justification of Religion, (Marc... [read more]

Religion Clause

Ministerial Exception Does Not Apply To Exercise Science Teacher At Christian University

In Richardson v. Northwest Christian University, (D OR, March 16, 2017), an unmarried professor of exercise science at a Christian university sued for discrimination after she was fired because she... [read more]

Religion Clause

Another Court Bars Enforcement of Trump's Second Travel Ban

As reported by Bloomberg Politics, yesterday a Maryland federal district court became the second court to bar enforcement of part of President Trump's second "travel ban" Executive O... [read more]

Religion Clause

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Givens v. Vaughn, 2017 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 31366 (SD IL, March 6, 2017), an Illinois federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendation (2017 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 31374, Feb. 6, 2017)... [read more]

Religion Clause

5 Judges In 9th Circuit Would Uphold Trump's First Travel Ban

Last month, a 3-judge panel of the U. S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stay the Washington federal district court's temporary restraining order against enforcement of President Trum... [read more]

Religion Clause

Lynn to Retire As Head of Americans United

In a press release issued yesterday. Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced that its long-time executive director Barry W. Lynn will retire at the end of 2017.  Lyn... [read more]

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Appeals Court OK's Court-Ordered Meeting of Church Members

In Hawkins v. St. John Missionary Baptist Church of Bakersfield, California, (CA App. , March 15, 2017), a California state appellate court upheld a trial court's determination that it could ... [read more]

Religion Clause

Hawaii Federal Court Bars Enforcement of Key Provisions of Second Travel Ban

Today a Hawaii federal district court issued a nationwide temporary restraining order prohibiting enforcement of Section 2  (90 day ban on entry into U. S. of nationals of six Muslim-majority ... [read more]

Religion Clause

NYC Arrangement On Controversial Circumcision Method Apparently Is Not Working

In September 2015, the New York City Board of Health repealed its largely unenforced regulations that required parental consent forms be signed in cases of ritual circumcision using the direct oral... [read more]

Religion Clause

City's Settlement of Mosque Litigation Challenged By New Lawsuit

As previously reported, last month the city of Sterling Heights, Michigan reached settlements in two related lawsuits challenging the city's denial of a land use application filed by an Islamic gr... [read more]

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Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Robinson v. Superintendent Houtzdale SCI, (3d Cir. , March 6, 2017), the 3rd Circuit affirmed the dismissal of an inmate's complaint that he was unable to participate in the sex offenderâ€... [read more]

Religion Clause

European Court of Justice Upholds Neutral Employment Rules Barring Religious Dress

The Court of Justice of the European Union today decided two cases raising the question of whether private employers may prohibit Muslim employees from wearing a headscarf at work.  In a case ... [read more]

Religion Clause

7th Circuit Upholds Enhanced Sentence For Hajj Fraud Defendant

In United States v. Minhas, (7th Cir. , March 10, 2017), the U. S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 114 month prison sentence imposed on a travel agent convicted in two separate cases o... [read more]

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11th Circuit: Title VII Does Not Bar Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, (11th Cir. , March 10, 2017), the U. S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision held that Title VII of the 1964 Civil rights Act does not protect... [read more]

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