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Archive for the tag “NJPD”

India’s Supreme Court May Consider Constitutionality of Muslim Divorce Practices

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

India’s Supreme Court today said it will examine whether it has jurisdiction to invalidate Muslim personal laws if they interfere with constitutional rights.  According to NDTV, the move comes in a suit challenging triple talaq, the practice that allows a Muslim husband to divorce his wife by pronouncing three times the phrase “I divorce you.” (Background.) One of the cases raising the question was brought by a woman whose husband divorced her through triple talaq delivered by mail. The court will hear arguments on the issue on Sept. 6.

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Religious Tracts Cannot Be Distributed On Arena Plaza

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

In Ball v. City of Lincoln, Nebraska, (D NE, June 23, 2016), a Nebraska federal district court dismissed an attempt to enjoin authorities from enforcing a policy that, among other things, bars leafleting on a Plaza Area outside the Pinnacle Bank Arena unless requested by a person renting out the Arena or the artists or productions they represent. (Full text of Use Policy.) The Arena was jointly constructed by the city of Lincoln and the University of Nebraska.  Plaintiff Larry Ball handed out religious tracts in the Plaza Area on several occasions, and was cited for trespass.  The court upheld the Arena’s policy, finding that the Plaza Area is a non-public forum and that the restrictions on its use are reasonable because they are neutral and do not curtail free speech in nearby areas. Lincoln Journal Star reporting on the decision says that an appeal is planned.

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9th Circuit Rejects RFRA Defense Raised By Hawaii Cannabis Ministers

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

In United States v. Christie, (9th Cir., June 14, 2016), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of the founder of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry and his wife on charges of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana.  The court rejected defendants’ claim that their convictions violate their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  The court held that the government had a compelling interest in mitigating the risk that cannabis from the Ministry would be diverted to recreational users, and that the government achieved that compelling interest in the least restrictive manner. The court said in part:

there is specific evidence that the Ministry’s distribution methods created a realistic possibility that cannabis intended for members of the Ministry would be distributed instead to outsiders who were merely feigning membership in the Ministry and adherence to its religious tenets. Additionally, the government’s interest in this case is all the more compelling given the Ministry’s well-publicized willingness to extend membership in the Ministry (with all that that entails) to minors.

Courthouse News Service reports on the decision.

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Amish Man Wins Exemption From State Building Code

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

A Michigan state trial court judge has held that a member of the Old Order Amish is entitled to an exemption from the Michigan Residential Building Code.  According to the Sault St. Marie News, in a June 6 opinion visiting Judge Harold Johnson sitting in the 50th District Court held that denial of the exemption would violate both the Fair Housing Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Amish defendant William Miller objected on religious grounds to requirements for electric and plumbing systems, indoor bathrooms, modernized kitchens and electronic devices such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

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Required Use of Social Security Number Not a Free Exercise Violation

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

In Earl of the Family Cox v. St. Mary’s County Department of Social Services2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74402 (D MD, June 7, 2016), a Maryland federal district court in a brief opinion rejected the argument by a pro se plaintiff that required use of  his Social Security number in the child support program violates his 1st Amendment free exercise rights.

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EEOC Sues Over Firing of Seventh Day Adventist

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

The EEOC announced yesterday that it has filed suit against Greenville Ready Mix Concrete, Inc., a North Carolina based company, for refusing to accommodate the religious observances of a Seventh Day Adventist employee.  Michael Cole, a truck driver for the company, was baptized as a Seventh-Day Adventist in February 2014, after which he asked not to work on Saturdays.  The company nevertheless scheduled him for a Saturday, and fired him when he refused.

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Court Again Denies Minister Right To File Amended Complaint In Building Code Dispute

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

In Salman v. City of Phoenix(D AZ, June 6, 2016), an Arizona federal district court denied a motion by an Arizona minister to file a fourth amended complaint in a suit challenging Phoenix’s application of its building code to his use of his house for weekly Bible study meetings and worship.

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Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Against College’s Speech Permit Policy

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

In Grace Christian Life v. Woodson, (ED NC, June 4, 2016), a North Carolina federal district court issued a preliminary injunction barring North Carolina State University from enforcing its non-commercial speech permit policy that requires students to obtain prior written permission before distributing leaflets or soliciting passersby on campus. The suit was brought by a Christian student organization that proselytizes on campus. (See prior posting.) According to a press release by ADF, the court issued the preliminary injunction two days after a hearing in the case.  The court adopted plaintiff’s allegations as its findings of fact. The preliminary injunction allows the University to still ban disruption of University activities, obstruction of buildings or sidewalks, or interference with educational activities or ceremonies.

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EEOC Sues Claiming Inadequate Accommodation of Refusal To Take Flu Shot

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

The EEOC announced last week that it has filed suit in a Massachusetts federal district court against Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts for failing to accommodate an employee who, for religious reasons, refused to get a flu vaccination.  The medical center allows employees with religious objections to instead wear a mask at work.  Stephanie Clarke, a recruiter in Baystate’s human resources department, initially wore the mask, but job applicants could not understand her when they spoke to her. So she removed her mask and requested Baystate to find a different accommodation. Instead Baystate put her on indefinite, unpaid leave, and when she complained it terminated her employment. EEOC argues that an accommodation under Title VII must both respect the employee’s religious beliefs and permit her to do her job effectively. Here she was terminated because she complained about religious discrimination. BNA Daily Labor Report has more on the suit.

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Another Challenge Filed To Mississippi’s Freedom of Conscience Law

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

As reported by AP, on Friday a third lawsuit was filed challenging Mississippi’s House Bill 1523, the Protecting Freedom of Conscience From Government Discrimination Act. Mississippi Center for Justice announced the filing of the federal lawsuit which was brought by a group of clergy, community leaders, activists and a Hattiesburg church.  The complaint (full text) contends:

With the passage and approval of that bill, the Legislature and the Governor breached the separation of church and state, and specifically endorsed certain narrow religious beliefs that condemn same-sex couples who get married, condemn unmarried people who have sexual relations, and condemn transgender people.

Last month the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the new law (see prior posting) and plaintiffs in a suit that helped bring down the barriers to same-sex marriage in Mississippi have moved to challenge the law by reopening their lawsuit.

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