News & Analysis as of

Fourteenth Amendment First Amendment

Church Alleges Religious Discrimination Over Baltimore County’s Conditions on Approval of Development Plan

Maryland and the Board of Appeals of Baltimore County (together, “Baltimore County”), challenging Baltimore County’s conditional approval of the Church’s development plan, which sought to expand an existing house of worship. ...more

Freedom To Surcharge—Ninth Circuit Rules Businesses Can Charge Card Fees

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Ninth Circuit upholds district court decision granting five businesses injunctive relief, finding that state law banning credit card surcharges is unconstitutional as applied to the five businesses. ...more

Religious Institutions Update: November 2017 - Lex Est Sanctio Sancta

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Timely Topics - Serious data breaches have become routine in the United States, yet a recent survey shows that the majority of religious institutions do not have a full-time IT professional, have no system to detect a...more

Additional Eruv Disputes in New Jersey

We recently posted about a lawsuit filed by Bergen Rockland Eruv Association, Inc. (“BREA”) against the Township of Mahwah, New Jersey, regarding a dispute over the expansion of an eruv. Since then, eruv disputes have evoked...more

The Supreme Court - November 13, 2017

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the three cases: Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, No. 16-1435: Is Minnesota Statute Section 211B.11, which broadly bans all political apparel at the polling place,...more

Supreme Court Considering Whether to Limit the “Business of Rigging Elections”

by Womble Bond Dickinson on

On January 27, 1998, the Winston-Salem Journal featured an article discussing the lack of competitive Congressional races in North Carolina. John Hoeffel, Six Incumbents Are a Week Away From Easy Election, Winston-Salem...more

Kenyan Church Claims Baltimore County’s Land Use Regulations Impose Substantial Burden

Last week, Jesus Christ is the Answer Ministries, Inc. (the “Church”), a nondenominational Christian church in Baltimore County, Maryland, and the Church’s pastor, Reverend Lucy Ware, filed suit against Baltimore County,...more

How an Uncommonly Silly Law Led to a Host of Very Consequential Supreme Court Decisions

by Cohen & Gresser LLP on

In 1879, Connecticut passed a law barring the use of “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception”; the penalty was“not less than fifty dollars” or between 60 days and one year in...more

Doggone: False Statements and Free Speech in Clemmons v. Guilford Technical Community College

Sometimes, the motivation for chronicling a court decision is not because it is particularly groundbreaking; rather, it can simply be a confluence of peculiar facts and a reiteration of relevant legal principles. That is...more

What Can You Say in the Workplace? Whatever Your Employer Allows You to Say...

The recent controversy involving the Google employee fired for challenging his employer’s diversity policies highlights some misconceptions concerning free speech rights in the workplace....more

Nine Members Again, the Supreme Court Takes On Uneasy Relationship Between Church and State

by Baker Donelson on

On June 26, 2017, the last day of its session, the Supreme Court issued what is likely to be one of its most significant rulings this year – and possibly for years to come – in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia,...more

Texas Supreme Court Disputes Reach of Obergefell in Employee Benefits Case

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Texas Supreme Court held that the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, did not dispositively address how far government employers must go in providing benefits...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

Lawsuit Challenging Philadelphia Salary History Ban Ordinance Dismissed

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: UPDATE: The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissed the challenge to the Philadelphia ordinance on May 30, 2017 based upon the Chamber of Commerce for Greater...more

City of Bayonne, New Jersey Sued Over Denial of Application to Build a Mosque

Last month, Bayonne Muslims, a New Jersey not-for-profit religious congregation, sued the City of Bayonne, New Jersey (the “City”), challenging the City’s denial of certain variances needed to construct a mosque. ...more

Businesses Challenge Philadelphia Law Prohibiting Inquiry into Prospective Employee’s Wage History

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Businesses banded together to challenge, on First Amendment and Due Process grounds, the pay equity Ordinance which would ban inquiries into prospective employees’ prior salaries. The Ordinance, which was...more

See You In Court! - April 2017

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

The Nutmeg Board of Education was frustrated and dismayed this budget season by the need to cut programs and reduce costs. However, given various warnings from Seymour Dollars, the irascible Chairperson of the Nutmeg Board of...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

News-Gatherer not Nightcrawler: District Court Denies NYPD’s Motion to Dismiss Photojournalist’s First Amendment Complaint

by Genova Burns LLC on

The U.S. District Court in Manhattan recently allowed a photojournalist’s complaint against the New York Police Department (NYPD) and City of New York to go forward. In Jason B. Nicholas v. The City of New York, 15-CV-9592,...more

New Legal Challenges to Public Union Agency Fees

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

Public employees in three different federal circuits filed lawsuits this week challenging the constitutionality of public unions' right to require nonmembers to pay agency fees (also known as "fair share" fees). The...more

Landmarking designation is alleged to violate RLUIPA

A brewing dispute in Yonkers, NY has led the Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester (ICCMW) to allege that Yonkers violated ICCMW’s rights under RLUIPA, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States...more

Prevailing RLUIPA Defendant Denied Attorneys’ Fees

This summer, we reported that Genoa Charter Township prevailed in a lawsuit filed by Livingston Christian Schools (LSC), which claimed that the Township violated RLUIPA’s substantial burden provision, the First Amendment to...more

Advertising Law - August 2016 #3

ANA, 4As Battle Over Transparency Guidance - Two industry groups are engaging in a public battle over transparency. The dispute began when a joint task force was formed between the American Association of...more

Sikh Temple files suit after Oyster Bay, NY ordered it to stop work and then required SEQRA review

Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center, Inc. (the “Temple”), on June 29, 2016 in the Eastern District of New York, sued the Town of Oyster Bay, New York, the Town Board, and several Town Officials (together, the “Defendants”) after...more

Michigan Township Prevails on Federal Religious Discrimination Claims

A federal court in Michigan has ruled that Genoa Charter Township did not violate federal law in denying a church’s application for a special use permit to operate a religious school. Livingston Christian Schools (LSC)...more

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