Old-school Republicans were thin on the ground in Maryland, where the conservatives gathered proved they’re all Trumpians nowThe invasion of the body snatchers is complete. Donald Trump has taken over the conservative movement and bent it to his will. Related: Trump returns to usual style at CPAC with boastful and divisive speech Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/24/cpac-trump-conservatives-republicans

I’ve rounded up a few issues the internet got upset about this week to ensure you remain as woke as humanly possibleDid you enjoy Black Panther? Have you derived great joy from the elation that the film has elicited? Did the wonder of Wakanda give you some small respite from the political hell that we are presently mired in? Well, I regret to inform you that any joy you may feel is woefully misguided. While Black Panther may, at first glance, have seemed groundbreaking, some internet intellectuals have helpfully taken it upon themselves to point out that, actually, it is riddled with problems that you, not-an-intellectual, probably overlooked. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/24/outrage-jennifer-lawrence-yoga-pants-black-panther

As students organize after the Florida school shooting, they are honoring their classmates’ lives by building a better futureThe powerful should never tell relatively powerless people who are protesting for their very lives how they should be behaving. That’s what was happening when a conservative pundit criticized Parkland students for organizing the March for Our Lives. It was, she said, “quite interesting that the children survivors haven’t even buried their friends, grieve, get over shock but have had the time to plan for a march, come up with a creative hashtag, get their story to all media outlets all in such a short amount time”. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/24/protest-mourning-florida-school-shooting

As Florida representative calls for banning AR-15 rifles, others in his party look toward more moderate concessionsIn the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, as American high school students stage walkouts to protest lawmakers’ lack of action on gun control, some Republicans are beginning to offer concessions. But most are still resisting the major demand from young advocates: a renewed ban on assault weapons. On Friday, Donald Trump repeated his preferred responses to Parkland: new emphasis on background checks and arming teachers to create “offensive capability” in schools. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/24/republicans-gun-control-assault-weapons-ban

A lawsuit was filed yesterday against the federal government and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops challenging discrimination against same-sex couples in administration of the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program and the Unaccompanied Alien Children Program. The complaint (full text) in Marouf v. Azar, (D DC, filed 2/20/2018), alleges that various federal agencies use taxpayer funds to finance grants to the USCCB to implement these programs based on impermissible religious criteria.  Plaintiffs, a lesbian couple, were told by Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, a sub-grantee of USCCB, that they did not qualify to become foster parents of an unaccompanied refugee child. An official of the organization told them that foster parents must

In Sikh Temple Turlock, California v. Chahal, (CA App, Feb 20, 2018), a California state appeals court upheld the trial court’s resolution of a governance dispute between two factions in a Sikh Temple.  As described by the court:Following a bench trial, the [trial] court found the election of the First Board was valid. The court further concluded the April 2013 election did not occur and that appellants took control of the Temple by usurpation. Accordingly, the trial court reinstated the First Board and ordered that a judicially supervised election take place. The court also enjoined five of the appellants from serving as officers or directors of the Temple for five years.The appeals court rejected challenges to the trial court’s decision, including a a free exercise challenge to the 5-year injunction.  The court said in part: Appellants submitted evidence that a Sikh has a general obligation to perform selfless service. However, there was no testimony that serving on the board is itself a religious act, constitutes a religious practice, or is required to satisfy the seva obligation. In fact, the evidence suggests otherwise…. Thus, appellants’ claim that the ban infringes on the free exercise of their religion has no support in the record.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/02/injunction-against-serving-as-temple.html

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

The Charlotte Observer last week reported that a North Carolina state Superior Court judge has upheld a contempt conviction of 36-year old Kendra Stocks for disobeying a court order regarding custody of her daughter. One day after a district court judge gave full custody, specifically including decisions concerning religion, of Stocks’ 3-year old daughter to the child’s father, Stocks went ahead with a previously-planned baptism of the child. She did not inform the father of the planned ceremony; he learned of it through Stocks’ Facebook postings. The Superior Court reduced Stocks contempt sentence from ten to seven days. [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/02/mother-held-in-contempt-for-ignoring.html