Religious College Loses RFRA Challenge to SBA's Loan Forgiveness Rules
Religion Clause
by Howard Friedman
22m ago
 In Gordon College v. U.S. Small Business Administration, (D DC, July 18, 2024), the D.C. federal district court dismissed claims by a religious nonprofit college that its rights under RFRA as well as the 1st and 14th Amendments were infringed when it was denied forgiveness of a $7 million loan that it received under the Covid era Paycheck Protection Program. Loan forgiveness was available to qualifying small businesses. Gordon College's loan forgiveness application was denied because it had over 500 employees and thus did not meet the SBA's small-business size standard. Rejecting pl ..read more
Visit website
International Representatives Release Guidelines for Countering Antisemitism
Religion Clause
by Howard Friedman
2d ago
On Wednesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, representatives of 36 nations and international organizations, including U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, released a set of legally nonbinding Global Guidelines for Countering Antisemitism (full text). Thursday was the 30th anniversary of the 1994 Hizballah bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires in which 85 people were killed. On Thursday, Secretary of State Blinken issued a statement (full text) announcing the Guidelines, saying in part: The United States is pleased ..read more
Visit website
Suit Challenges California's Ban on School Parental Notification Requirements as to Gender Transitioning
Religion Clause
by Howard Friedman
2d ago
A school district and parents of school-age children filed suit this week in a California federal district court challenging California's recently-enacted AB 1955.  The statute prohibits school districts from requiring notification of parents when their children are socially transitioning their gender in school, unless the student consents to the disclosure. The complaint (full text) in Chino Valley Unified School District v. Newsom alleges that the statute violates parental rights to control the upbringing of their children and parents' free exercise rights as well as being preempte ..read more
Visit website
Russian Court Bans Online Sale of Souvenir Toilet Paper: Depiction Offends Feelings of Religious Believers
Religion Clause
by Howard Friedman
2d ago
Moscow Times and Vyorstka reported yesterday that a Russian District Court in Moscow has banned the offering on four websites in Russia of souvenir toilet paper imprinted with images of the 1997 version of Russia's 1000-ruble bills. The court found that the toilet paper "offends the feelings of religious believers" in violation of Article 148 of the Russian Penal Code. The 1000-ruble bill carries a picture of a statue of Yaroslav the Wise who was Grand Prince of Kiev from 1019 to 1054. Yaroslav the Wise was canonized in 2016 by the Bishops Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. Prior to ..read more
Visit website
Company Settles EEOC Suit for $110,000, Compensating Employee Whose Religious Objections to Vaccine Were Ignored
Religion Clause
by Howard Friedman
2d ago
 A national furniture retailer, Hank's Furniture, has settled a Title VII religious discrimination lawsuit brought against it by the EEOC. Under a consent decree, Hank's will pay $110,000 in damages and will implement a written policy assuring broad accommodation of religious beliefs that do not impose an undue burden. According to the EEOC's press release: ... [A] former assistant manager at HFI’s Pensacola, Florida, location notified the company that her religious beliefs prevented her from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Rather than discuss the employee’s religious beliefs to determine ..read more
Visit website
9th Circuit: Zen Apprentice's Suit Dismissed Under Ministerial Exception Doctrine
Religion Clause
by Howard Friedman
3d ago
In Behrend v. San Francisco Zen Center, Inc., (9th Cir., July 17, 2024), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal under the ministerial exception doctrine of a disability discrimination suit brought by plaintiff who worked at the Zen Center as a Work Practice Apprentice.  The court said in part: Behrend ... appeals, arguing that he was not a minister because he performed mostly menial work and did not have a “key role in making internal church decisions and transmitting the faith to others.”... Behrend was tasked with performing maintenance, kitchen, and guest servi ..read more
Visit website
Diocese Not Liable in Bankruptcy for Sex Abuse Without Agency Relationship with Abuser or Abuser's Institution
Religion Clause
by Howard Friedman
4d ago
In In re Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, (SD NY, July 15, 2024), a New York federal district court affirmed a bankruptcy court's dismissal of appellants' claims that they were sexually abused as children by clergy and staff at religious institutions in the diocese's territory. The court said in part: ... [T]o adequately assert state law tort claims, Claimants must plead that the Debtor had some control over the abusers or the religious institutions where the abuse occurred....  In other words, Claimants were required to plead the existence of an employment or a ..read more
Visit website
Former Priest's Defamation Claim Dismissed Under Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine
Religion Clause
by Howard Friedman
4d ago
In Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia v. Marshall, (VA App., July 16, 2024), a Virginia state appellate court held that a defamation per se claim by a former Episcopalian priest against a bishop who removed him from the ministry should be dismissed under the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine. The former priest, Robert Marshall, allegedly made improper comments to a female employee. The court said in part: We find that the defamation claim is inextricably intertwined with the disciplinary proceedings that led to the priest’s ouster.  In addition, the trier of fact would have to ..read more
Visit website
2nd Circuit: Trial Court Must Make Further Findings in Wedding Photographer's Challenge to NY Public Accommodation Law
Religion Clause
by Howard Friedman
6d ago
In Emilee Carpenter, LLC, dba Emilee Carpenter Photography v. James, (2d Cir., July 12, 2024), the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a New York federal district court's dismissal of a free speech challenge by a wedding photographer to New York's public accommodation law that bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  The photographer refuses because of her religious and personal beliefs to photograph same-sex weddings.  The court held that the case must be remanded for further fact finding in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's intervening decis ..read more
Visit website
Recent Articles of Interest
Religion Clause
by Howard Friedman
6d ago
From SSRN: Dennis J. Wieboldt III, Christian History Meets Constitutional History: John Courtney Murray's Augustinian Political Theology of the American Founding, (Horizons 51 (2024). Dennis J. Wieboldt III, Natural Law Appeals as Method of American-Catholic Reconciliation: Catholic Legal Thought and the Red Mass in Boston, 1941-1944, (U.S. Catholic Historian 41 (2023)). Dennis J. Wieboldt III, Natural Law for the Laity: A Case Study in Catholic Education on the Airwaves, (Theology and Media(tion): Rendering the Absent Present (Orbis Books, 2024)). Dennis J. Wieboldt III, The 'Crusa ..read more
Visit website

Follow Religion Clause on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR