Late-night comics, including Stephen Colbert, Kimmel and Trevor Noah, discussed the shooting survivors and the absurd claims they are paid actorsLate-night hosts on Wednesday discussed the survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, and the false claims from the far right that they are paid actors. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/feb/22/kimmel-colbert-florida-gun-control-conspiracy-theories-late-night

Despite hits including Wonder Woman and Girls Trip, out of the 100 highest-grossing films of the year, just 24% were led by womenThe number of female protagonists on the big screen was down five percentage points in 2017, according to a new study. Related: 94% of women in Hollywood experience sexual harassment or assault, says survey Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/feb/22/women-lead-characters-2017-biggest-films-stats-hollywood

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was among the 17 people killed by a gunman at a high school in Parkland, Florida, has spoken to MSNBC’s Morning Joe about the grief he and his family have been going through since her death. ‘She took a shot, through the back … done. Dead,’ he tells the talkshow Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2018/feb/22/our-day-starts-at-the-cemetery-victims-father-on-life-after-florida-shooting-video

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

In Mikell v. Folino, (3d Cir., Feb. 13, 2018), the 3rd Circuit affirmed the dismissal of an inmate’s complaint that he did not receive Ramadan meals.In Corbett v. Annucci, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24291 (SD NY, Feb. 13, 2018), a New York federal district court allowed an inmate to move ahead with claims for injunctive relief alleging that he did not receive Halal meals.In Jones v. Annucci, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24359 (SD NY, Feb. 13, 2018), a New York federal district court dismissed an inmate’s complaint that he was required to change his religious registration from Islam to Shia before he could participate in Shia religious events.In Thomas v. Slusher, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25916 (ND OH, Feb. 16, 2018), an Ohio federal district court dismissed an inmate’s complaint that he was transferred out of the faith-based prison unit.In Woods v. Paramo, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25989 (SD CA, Feb. 15, 2018), a California federal court allowed an inmate to move ahead with his suit challenging delays in providing a kosher diet when he is transferred for extensive periods.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/02/recent-prisoner-free-exercise-cases_18.html

In United States v. Cruz, (SD NY, Feb. 15, 2018), a New York federal magistrate judge rejected a Free Exercise defense to a charge of knowingly attending a cockfight in violation of 7 USC §2156.  The court said in part:Here, Cruz has failed to make a showing that the act of engaging in animal fighting ventures stems from sincerely held beliefs that are religious in nature. Although Cruz continually refers to the “God given” dominion of man over animals, he does not identify any specific religious tenets or practices that are burdened by the statute. Nor does he identify any religion or denomination from which his beliefs derive. Indeed, in “attest[ing] to the importance of the God given rights of the American farmer,” Cruz cites quotations in which the founding fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin, exalted agriculture…. This suggests that Cruz’s beliefs are philosophical or political in nature.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/02/no-free-exercise-defense-to-charge-of.html

CNN reports that an Ohio trial court judge today gave custody of a 17-year old transgender male to his grandparents after his parents sought to bar the hormonal transition treatment strongly recommended by the youth’s medical team.  Grandparents will now be able to make medical decisions for the teen.  The parents argued that the teen was not old enough to make such a consequential decision.  A county prosecutor contended that the parents objected because of their religious beliefs. Court testimony revealed that the parents, in addition to opposing treatment, refused to call the youth by his chosen name, triggering suicidal feelings in him.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/02/ohio-court-gives-custody-of-transgender.html

The EEOC announced this week that it has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the Owossso, Michigan based Memorial Healthcare.  The company revoked its job offer to Yvonne Bair to work as a medical transcriptionist after she objected on religious grounds to receiving an influenza shot or spray immunization.  Memorial refused her suggested accommodation of allowing her to wear a mask, even though company policy allowed masks as an alternative for those who cannot take a vaccine for other reasons.  MarketWatch reports on the lawsuit.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/02/eeoc-sues-over-accommodation-for.html

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals en banc today, in opinions spanning 285 pages, affirmed a Maryland federal district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction against the Proclamation setting out the third version of President Trump’s travel ban.  In International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, (4th Cir. en banc, Feb. 15, 2018), the court by a vote of 9-4 held that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim.  Chief Judge Gregory’s majority opinion said in part:[H]ere the Government’s proffered rationale for the Proclamation lies at odds with the statements of the President himself. Plaintiffs here do not just plausibly allege with particularity that the Proclamation’s purpose is driven by anti-Muslim bias, they offer undisputed evidence of such bias: the words of the President. This evidence includes President Trump’s disparaging comments and tweets regarding Muslims; his repeated proposals to ban Muslims from entering the United States; his subsequent explanation that he would effectuate this “Muslim” ban by targeting “territories” instead of Muslims directly; the issuance of EO-1 and EO-2, addressed only to majority-Muslim nations; and finally the issuance of the Proclamation, which not only closely tracks EO-1 and EO-2, but which President Trump and his advisors described as having the same goal as EO-1 and EO-2…..While the majority ultimately concluded that it would not rely on President Trump’s pre-election statements in reaching its conclusion, it nevertheless indicated that it would have been permissible to do so:Perhaps in implicit recognition of the rawness of the religious animus in the President’s pre-election statements, the Government urges us to disregard them. This is a difficult argument to make given that the President and his advisors have repeatedly relied on these pre-election statements to explain the President’s post-election actions related to the travel ban….  [I]n McCreary, the Supreme Court reminded us that “the world is not made brand new every morning.” …. Because “reasonable observers have reasonable memories,” these statements certainly provide relevant context when examining the purpose of the Proclamation.The majority concluded:In sum, the face of the Proclamation, read in the context of President Trump’s official statements, fails to demonstrate a primarily secular purpose. To the objective observer, the Proclamation continues to exhibit a primarily religious anti-Muslim objective. Our constitutional system creates a strong presumption of legitimacy for presidential action and we often defer to the political branches on issues related to immigration and national security. But the disposition in this case is compelled by the highly unusual facts here. Plaintiffs offer undisputed evidence that the President of the United States has openly and often expressed his desire to ban those of Islamic faith from entering the United States. The Proclamation is thus not only a likely Establishment Clause violation, but also strikes at the basic notion that the government may not act based on “religious animosity.”Six of the judges would have also found a likelihood of success on at least some of plaintiffs’ statutory challenges to the Proclamation. Four concurring opinions and two dissenting opinions were also filed. Pursuant to an earlier U.S. Supreme Court order, the court stayed the injunction pending a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court. Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on today’s decision.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/02/4th-circuit-en-banc-says-trumps-third.html