In Edelstein v. Stephens, (SD OH, Feb. 16, 2018), a Ohio federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing many of the claims of a state court staff attorney/magistrate who was fired after she requested eight days off for Jewish holidays. One of plaintiff’s claims was that the county violated her free exercise and equal protection rights by designating Christmas as a legal holiday without similarly protecting the rights of non-Christians to celebrate their holidays.  The court said in part:Butler County’s policy establishing Christmas as a paid legal holiday for county employees is a neutral law that does not discriminate against a particular religion or set of religious beliefs or prohibit any conduct because it is undertaken for religious reasons…. The Sixth Circuit has acknowledged that because there are

A bill titled Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act (H 4949) was introduced into the South Carolina legislature last week (Feb. 15). A similar bill with the same title (HB 0167) was received for introduction in the Wyoming legislature on Feb. 14.  Taking a new approach to challenging same-sex marriage, the bills define marriage that does not involve one man and one woman as

From SSRN:Jeremy Patrick, ‘A La Carte’ Spirituality and the Future of Freedom of Religion, (January 31, 2018).Rafael Domingo, Penal Law in the Roman Catholic Church, (Ecclesiastical Law Journal 20 (2018), Forthcoming).Nelson Tebbe, Conscience and Equality, (Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development (2018 Forthcoming)).Andrew P. Cicero, III, Is It Well with Your Soul? The Surprising Divide within the Baptist Community Concerning Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, (February 1, 2018).Ryan T. Anderson, Marriage, the Court, and the Future, (Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2017).Courtney G. Joslin, Discrimination In and Out of Marriage, (98 Boston University Law Review 1 (2018)).Emily Warwick, Title IX, Tax-Exemption, and Transgender Students: Using Federal Guidelines to Determine the Tax-Exempt Status of Single-Sex Institutions, (January 31, 2018).From SSRN (Law of charities):Natalie Silver, Regulating the Foreign Activities of Charities: A Comparative Perspective, (Report for the Pemsel Case Foundation, 2017).Brian D. Galle, Design and Implementation of a Charitable Regulation Regime, (January 28, 2018).Paul B. Miller, The Identification of Fiduciary Relationships, (Evan J. Criddle, Paul B. Miller, and Robert H. Sitkoff, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018)).From SSRN (European law):Evina Heydari, A Post-Secular Europe? – A Critical Discourse Analysis of European Rulings Regarding Religious Symbols in the Public Sphere, (November 18, 2017).Natalie Alkiviadou, Regulating Hate Speech in the EU, (Online Hate Speech in the European Union. A Discourse-Analytic Perspective. Springer briefs in Linguistics (2017)).From SSRN (Islam and Islamic Law):Fajri Muhammadin, Should Muslims Argue Exceptionalism/Particularism in International Law?, (February 8, 2018).Marco Longobardo, The Self-Proclaimed Statehood of the Islamic State between 2014 and 2017 and International Law, ((2017) 33 Anuario español de derecho internacional 205-228).Ending Solehudin, The System Zakat Reform of Management and the Zakat in Indonesia (A Study of the Fatwa of Islamic Organization Persis and MUI on the Management of Zakat), (International Journal of Financial Management (IJFM), Vol. 7, Issue 1, Dec – Jan 2018, 1-20).Reza Banakar, Double-Thinking and Contradictory Arrangements in Iranian Law and Society, (Digest of Middle East Studies, Forthcoming).From SmartCILP:Douglas Laycock, Churches, Playgrounds, Government Dollars — and Schools? 131 Harvard Law Review 133-169 (2017).Stacey A. Tovino, On Health, Law, and Religion, 74 Washington

Love them or hate them it seems cryptocurrencies and the blockchain are too big to ignoreA few days ago, President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela announced that his government had launched the petro, a new state-sponsored cryptocurrency. He claimed that $735m (£529m) worth of the new currency had already been sold, though observers are sceptical, unless state entities have been obliged to buy them. Even they will find it hard to do so, however, as the technology platform on which the petro will be traded has not yet been confirmed. Related: Venezuela’s new bitcoin: an ingenious plan or worthless cryptocurrency? Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/27/hawk-or-dove-bitcoin-is-forcing-central-banks-to-take-sides

Parscale, an ally of Jared Kushner, worked for the Trump Organization and was the Trump campaign’s digital director in 2016Donald Trump has named former digital adviser Brad Parscale as campaign manager of his 2020 re-election campaign. In a statement, the Trump campaign said Parscale will lead “advanced planning” for the 2020 effort, and that the campaign will also be engaged in the 2018 midterm elections, which are shaping up to be a challenging environment for Republicans. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/27/trump-to-name-brad-parscale-to-manage-2020-election-campaign-says-source

Society still frowns on women who don’t want to go through having children – despite the immense toll it can take on them. Why?I recently conducted a very scientific study in the pub with some straight male friends. “Have you ever wanted to experience pregnancy?” I asked. The answer was an emphatic “absolutely not”. In the interests of methodological rigorousness, I rephrased my question. “Do you ever feel sad you aren’t able to experience what it’s like to grow a human inside you?” Again, 100% of respondents answered with some variation of, “Hell, no.”My investigations were prompted by a scientific study published in the journal Human Reproduction. The official title of the study is Parity Associated With Telomere Length Among US Reproductive-Age Women, but a more accurate title would be Yet More Evidence That Pregnancy Is Torture. Not only does pregnancy mess with your hormones, it appears to mess up your DNA; giving birth may add the equivalent of 11 years to a woman’s biological age. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/27/pregnancy-is-a-life-experience-id-rather-avoid-that-doesnt-mean-im-selfish

CPAC – the annual conference for conservative activists, which is sponsored by the NRA – occurred less than two weeks after the Parkland school shooting.  The Guardian spoke with attendees including Sebastian Gorka, Katie Hopkins and Mark Burns about gun ownership, Parkland conspiracy theories and policy reform in the wake of the massacre Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2018/feb/27/the-left-is-creating-a-crisis-conservative-activists-respond-to-florida-shooting

Levi Sanders is joining seven other Democrats and three Republicans in the race for the 1st congressional districtBernie Sanders’ son says he is running for Congress in New Hampshire. Levi Sanders is joining seven other Democrats and three Republicans in the race for the 1st congressional district. Democratic representative Carol Shea-Porter is stepping down after her term ends. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/27/levi-sanders-bernie-sanders-running-for-congress-new-hampshire

Senior, 18, beats opponent from 2017 final againBeggs wants to fight boys but state insists on birth certificate ruleFor the second year in a row, a transgender wrestler has won the Texas girls’ Class 6A 110lbs division. Related: Mack Beggs, transgender wrestler who won Texas girls’ title: ‘Boo all you want’ Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/25/transgender-wrestler-mack-beggs-wins-texas-girls-title