Respondeat superior (literally, "let the master answer" in Latin) is a doctrine that applies when an employer or principal has the ability and authority to direct and control the pertinent acts of the employee. Put otherwise,...more
The Arkansas Senate, in passing Bill no. 939 (now Act 1231), authorized the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol to purportedly “help the people of the United States and of...more
The Ninth Circuit has affirmed a lower court’s decision ruling that a twelve foot statute of Jesus near Montana’s Big Mountain does not violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The statue, known as “Big Mountain...more
Unfortunately it’s time to say goodbye to the last true week of summer. But RLUIPA Defense is happy to say hello to fall with another edition of the Round-Up!
- According to the San Francisco Chronicle, despite an...more
This Supplement is intended for use in conjunction with Curtin’s California Land Use & Planning Law, Thirty-Fourth Edition (2014), authored by Perkins Coie attorneys Cecily Talbert Barclay and Matthew S. Gray. In lieu of...more
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania dismissed an Establishment Clause challenge to a Ten Commandments monument located on the lawn outside a local high school, in Freedom From Religion Foundation...more
Like most commercial litigators, I do not often find myself dealing with questions of religion or divine providence during work hours. However, that is exactly where I found myself last Easter (ironically enough), working...more
Religious institutions commonly keep ministry supporters and members abreast of developments through newsletters, correspondence and other communications. Sometimes, the developments reported are embarrassing to those...more
A high-profile case that provides guidance on how local governments might approach holiday display regulations without violating constitutional rights was decided last week by a federal appellate court. The City of Santa...more
Spring flowers and the final week of argument in the Supreme Court’s 2015 term have all of us at RLUIPA Defense thinking spring. However, at least one controversy from the 2014 holiday season is back in bloom (reported on...more
In November 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin declared unconstitutional Section 107(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, which excludes from gross income rental allowances paid to ministers as...more
There is something to be said for not paying your taxes. At least, that is one lesson that the plaintiffs may have learned from the Seventh Circuit’s opinion last Thursday in Freedom from Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Lew, No....more
In March 2013, Judge Urbanski issued an injunction prohibiting Pittsylvania County from opening its board of supervisors meetings with sectarian prayers associated with any one religion as a violation of the Establishment...more
The Associated Press reports that an Oklahoma state court, in Prescott v. Capitol Preservation Commission, (OK Cnty Dist. Ct., Sept. 19, 2014), has ruled that a six-foot tall Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the...more
Timely Topics -
Church splits and property disputes are not new, but they have certainly grown in number in recent years. In the seminal case on church property disputes, Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679, 20 L....more
In Felix v. City of Bloomfield (D. NM Aug. 7, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico found that the display of a five-foot, granite Ten Commandments monument outside City Hall violated the Establishment...more
The Supreme Court decided this week not to hear a recent case from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) regarding public school graduation ceremonies in churches....more
The U.S. Supreme Court on May 5, 2014, ruled in Town of Greece v. Galloway that local governments may start their regular meetings with a prayer in the nature of the invocations given before Congress. The various justices...more
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a New York town’s practice of opening town board meetings with prayer did not violate the First Amendment. The decision provides guidance to school boards and other public bodies...more
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .”...more
The 5-4 decision found that Town of Greece’s prayer practice is consistent with practices long permitted in American legislative assemblies.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it is constitutional for a town board...more
- Local governments in Illinois and around the country should become knowledgeable about the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling this week in Town of Greece v. Galloway.
- In its 5-4 ruling, the Court declared...more
Today, the Court handed down its ruling in Town of Greece. In a sweeping ruling, the Court upheld the local government’s religious invocations in a 5-4 decision. The ruling pretty dramatically and explicitly broadens the...more
Who owns the "church?" For most, this is an odd question. As children, many of us folded our hands and repeated a rhyme: "Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the doors and see the people." Nevertheless, for well...more
The Western District of Wisconsin recently issued a decision that makes the parsonage exemption unconstitutional as a violation of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution.
This ruling is controversial and hotly...more
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