News & Analysis as of

Religious Institutions Establishment Clause

Case Report: Public Finance Implications of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer

In Public Finance, questions on separation of church and state usually arise in the context of a conduit financing by a state or local governmental entity which benefits a religious organization. The religious organization...more

Tax-Exempt Financing of Churches, Parochial Schools and Other Sectarian Institutions After Trinity Lutheran Church: Permitted? ...

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 opinion in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, precluding states from discriminating against churches in at least some state financing programs, raises anew the question of...more

Religious Institutions Update: June 2017

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Timely Topics - The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, No. 15-577. The lawsuit concerns whether the daycare operated by a Missouri church may qualify...more

RLUIPA Round Up

The recent confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has brought renewed attention to the often blurry line between the courts, government and individual religious liberty. Gorsuch wrote a concurring opinion in the...more

Preserving Constitutional Issues: Three States, Three Cases, One Hard Lesson

by Carlton Fields on

Late last year, three states illustrated an important point about preserving constitutional law issues for appeal: always be on the lookout for constitutional law issues at the beginning of the case. ...more

Religious Institutions Update: February 2017

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Timely Topics - A draft executive order of President Donald Trump relating to religious freedom proposes several material changes to federal law. First, it would require the executive branches to recognize a broad scope...more

Third Circuit Upholds District Court Decision in Pennsylvania Baptist Church Sign Case

Recently, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals entered an order upholding the district court’s decision in the case of Tearpock-Martini v. Shickshinny Borough, which we reported on last summer. The case involved an...more

Not All Faith-Based Communications Are Protected By The Clergy-Penitent Privilege

by Reminger Co., LPA on

The clergy-penitent privilege (also known as the clergy privilege, confessional privilege, priest–penitent privilege, clergyman–communicant privilege, and/or ecclesiastical privilege) is a recognized form of privileged...more

NLRB Expands Jurisdiction in Church-Operated Schools, Distinguishing Between "Religious" and "Secular" Instruction in Faculty...

by Littler on

In two recent cases, the National Labor Relations Board distinguished between faculty members providing secular instruction and those providing religious instruction, in concluding that only those providing religious...more

RLUIPA Defense/Rocky Mountain Sign Law Joint Blog Post: Pennsylvania Borough’s Church Directional Signs Did Not Violate the...

Late last month, a federal district court in Pennsylvania ruled that directional signs to a church, which contained images of a cross and bible, did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The...more

Minister or Not? Gay Bias Case Turns on Employee’s Role

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: A federal judge has allowed a discrimination lawsuit to proceed against the Archdiocese of Chicago. The plaintiff alleges that his engagement to another man resulted in his termination. The church sought...more

Religious Institutions Update: August 2016

by Holland & Knight LLP on

When was the last time your organization reviewed your insurance policies? Not all policies are equal. Many religious organizations are underinsured. Most should have general liability, property, professional liability,...more

Religious Institutions: October 2015

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Timely Topics - A non-compete clause, covenant not to compete or restrictive covenant is a contract provision under which one party agrees not to enter into or start a similar profession, trade or business in competition...more

RLUIPA Round-Up

Below are news items from the past week involving local government, religion, and land use that have caught our attention. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York has issued a Memorandum and...more

Religious Institutions: September 2015

by Holland & Knight LLP on

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

Arkansas Senate Opens the Door; Baphomet Walks In

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

RLUIPA Round-up

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

Religious Institutions Update: May 2015

by Holland & Knight LLP on

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

Religious Institutions: October 2014

by Holland & Knight LLP on

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

Religious Institutions - February 2014

by Holland & Knight LLP on

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

Tax Exemption For Ministers Unconstitutional?

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

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

Religious Institutions: June 2013

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Do you know a "place of public accommodation" when you see it? Federal, state and sometimes local laws entitle persons to the full and equal employment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and...more

Religious Institutions Update: April 2013

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is in full swing. The law requires non-exempt religious organizations with fewer than 50 full-time employees to determine whether they are a large...more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2013

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In this Issue: - Key Cases - Court Upholds Permitting, Licensing and Zoning Regulation of Spiritual Counselors - Non-Liturgical Navy Chaplains Denied Injunctive Relief for Statistical Imbalance in...more

Religious Institutions Update: February 2013

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Last February, at the request of Senate Finance Committee member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations was formed to address tax-related policy questions of import...more

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