Legal Headline News – 10/4/2010

Legal Headline News – 10/4/2010

The Supreme Court began a new era Monday with three women serving together for the first time, Elena Kagan taking her place at the end of the bench and quickly joining in the give-and-take.

The court was considering the case of the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, whose anti-gay protests have targeted the funerals of fallen soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Information on Steven Hayes Trial being charged with the killing of 3 family members in Connecticut.

Pastor Eddie Long and his accusations.

More at http://lbnnews.com

Duration : 0:2:19

Read more about Legal Headline News – 10/4/2010

Case raises France veil-ban issues

A court in Paris has handed a French retiree a one-month suspended sentence for attacking an Arab woman who was wearing a full-face veil.

The court ordered Jeanne Ruby, a retired English teacher, to pay $1,140 in damages to the victim, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates who was on holiday in Paris at the time of the attack.

The incident took place in the French capital in February, as France’s conservative government was in the early stages of hammering out a plan to ban the wearing of full-facial veils in public.

The measure officially became law last month, but it will not be enforced for several months.

Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland reports from Paris on how the case has highlighted potential problems once the veil ban is implemented next year.

Duration : 0:2:9

Read more about Case raises France veil-ban issues

Abolish Religious Exemptions from the Law? (Part 2)

In the United States and other countries, religious institutions have traditionally enjoyed a privileged position, i.e., they have been granted exemptions from compliance with certain laws (including, without limitation, laws against discrimination in employment and laws requiring the payment of taxes). Is it appropriate or even useful for religion to have this privileged status?

Links:

1. Wisconsin Supreme Court’s use of the “ministerial exception” to dismiss an age discrimination case against a Catholic school system

http://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=38088

2. New York Court of Appeals decision in Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany v. Serio

http://www.law.cornell.edu/nyctap/I06_0127.htm

3. California Supreme Court’s decision in Catholic Charities of Sacramento v. Superior Court (Unfortunately, I can’t find a generally accessible URL for this decision. The citation is 85 P.3d 67 (2004).)

4. Jonathan Turley’s Op-Ed piece entitled “When it comes to religious groups, who’s really facing discrimination?”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/16/AR2010041602027.html

5. Employment Division v. Smith

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0494_0872_ZO.html

6. Bob Jones University v. United States

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0461_0574_ZO.html

7. New York Times article on the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association case

8. Part 1 of this video series

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5TBxCfnFiw

Duration : 0:9:56

Read more about Abolish Religious Exemptions from the Law? (Part 2)

Taking Free Exercise Rights Seriously

March 30, 2006
Speaker: Professor Alan E. Brownstein, University of California, Davis School of Law
Presented by: Center for Professional Ethics

Summary: William A. Brahms Lecture on Law and Religion

• Constitutional law does not take free exercise rights seriously. Creating a more complex free exercise jurisprudence

• How do we balance religious exercise against conflicting state interests?

Professor Brownstein is an expert on church-state issues and has also written extensively on freedom of speech, privacy and autonomy rights and other constitutional law subjects. His articles have been published in numerous academic journals, including the Stanford Law Review. Professor Brownstein teaches Constitutional Law, Law and Religion, and Torts at the UC Davis School of Law, is a frequent lecturer at academic conferences and in law related programs before civic, legal, religious and educational groups. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1977.

Duration : 1:2:14

Read more about Taking Free Exercise Rights Seriously

Sharia Law Replaces Civil Law in Poor Indonesian Islands – Lewis Simmons

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2009/10/24/Lewis_M_Simons_on_Southeast_Asia_The_Next_Front

Lewis M. Simons, journalist and co-author of The Next Front, tells of how Sharia law has supplanted constitutional law in some remote Indonesian islands. The poverty stricken residents have allowed Muslim clerics to collaborate with military and police officials to enforce the Islamic religious law.

—–

With his co-author, Senator Christopher Bond, Lewis M. Simons, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, argues that Southeast Asia, and especially Indonesia, will be the next hot spot in the war on terror. The authors propose that the U.S., having lost credibility with failed military efforts in the Middle East, deploy “smart power” — civilians — instead of soldiers to defuse anger and create alternatives to violent movements. – Politics and Prose Bookstore

Lewis M. Simons is a freelance writer who won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. He served as the foreign policy correspondent for Time magazine from 1996 to 1997 and bureau chief in Tokyo for Knight-Ridder Newspapers from 1989 to 1996. He has also been a correspondent for the Associated Press and a reporter for the Washington Post.

Simons is the author of Worth Dying For, published by William Morrow and Company, as well as numerous articles for the Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and the New York Times. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Duration : 0:2:31

Read more about Sharia Law Replaces Civil Law in Poor Indonesian Islands – Lewis Simmons

Abolish Religious Exemptions from the Law? (Part 1)

In the United States and other countries, religious institutions have traditionally enjoyed a privileged position, i.e., they have been granted exemptions from compliance with certain laws (including, without limitation, laws against discrimination in employment and laws requiring the payment of taxes). Is it appropriate or even useful for religion to have this privileged status?

Links:

1. Regarding Christian Legal Society v. Martinez–

–the decision of the federal district court in favor of the law school

http://www.alliancealert.org/2006/20060417.pdf

–the decision of the 9th Circuit affirming the trial court’s ruling

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/08-1371_ca9.pdf

–SCOTUS WIKI’s entry on the case (lots of information and material)

http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=Christian_Legal_Society_v._Martinez

2. Archbishop Donald Wuerl’s talk entitled “Religious Freedom and Marriage”

3. Washington D.C.’s marriage equality and nondiscrimination law and related material

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/lims/legislation.aspx?LegNo=B18-0482&Description=RELIGIOUS-FREEDOM-AND-CIVIL-MARRIAGE-EQUALITY-AMENDMENT-ACT-OF-2009.&ID=23204

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/images/00001/20100409103713.pdf

4. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm

5. McClure v. The Salvation Army (the first federal appeals court decision to recognize a “ministerial exception” to Title VII)

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=7674766003352112619&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

6. Part 2 of this video series

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GHVxMDRx6o

Duration : 0:10:29

Read more about Abolish Religious Exemptions from the Law? (Part 1)

Legal News Headlines 6/9/2010

http://www.lbnnews.com

Today’s Legal Headline News

BP Spill could take years to clean up

Intelligence officer arrested for posting cinfidential video on Wikileaks

ACLU files lawsuit agains government over privacy

Bhopal India Union carbide execs get 2 years

Legal Broadcast Network

Duration : 0:2:23

Read more about Legal News Headlines 6/9/2010

Fox News: libraries can’t show anti-religious art

In this interview from Fox News some guy comes on and suggests that libraries don’t have the legal right to have anti-religious art in their exhibits.

Feel free to comment and criticize.

Correct me if I am wrong but I do not think that the man manages to string together a coherent legal argument. It came across as white noise to me. Am I missing something?

I think it would be absurd if anything religious or non-religious was prohibited from libraries. I do not have a problem with religious art being sold at libraries, government institution or not. Pictures of crosses, or art with other religious imagery, is in my opinion perfectly acceptable if it is being sold _as art_ in a library, and not being used to promote religion. The same is true of anti-religious art.

It becomes a problem only when the state is putting religion (or irreligion) where it doesn’t belong, like in schools, on the money, or in the pledge of allegiance. In that case, it is simply a promotion of religion by the government.

Here, we are not talking about the promotion or religion or irreligion. We are talking about art being sold at a library. It would be very strange indeed if libraries were prohibited from holding items that have any implications for religion (positive or negative). The reason libraries are allowed to carry religious books, like the bible, is because they are not being used to promote religion. They are being held as part of the libraries collection -this is an acceptable purpose for a library, government run or not. The same goes for sales of art. If it is not the promotion of religion (or irreligion) but is the sale or display of art, it is constitutionally acceptable.

Duration : 0:3:49

Read more about Fox News: libraries can’t show anti-religious art