MORE ARTICLES FROM ‘Religion Analysis’

Much to-do about history for divided high court

Though sharply divided on whether legislative prayers in Greece, N.Y., are permissible, two Supreme Court justices agree that history factors into the constitutional calculus.

Why fifth graders have rights too

To what extent do students have First Amendment rights? Recently, a three judge panel of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has written another chapter in that debate by ruling in favor of a fifth grader who was barred by school officials from handing out invitations to a Christmas party at her church.

Calif. inmate’s prayer-oil case moves forward

Federal judge rules for prisoner David Rentz II, who produced evidence that another inmate had been allowed to use religious oils before Rentz was denied his.

4th Circuit rejects N.C. inmate’s pagan-worship claim

Federal appeals panel finds inmate failed to explain how denial of outdoor circle for Asatru ceremony violated his religious beliefs.

Ex-church pianist covered by ministerial exception

5th Circuit follows U.S. Supreme Court’s Hosanna-Tabor ruling, finds fired music director cannot pursue employment-discrimination claims.

Court revives inmate’s claim against no-beard policy

4th Circuit panel says prison failed to explain why a Muslim prisoner’s 1/8-inch beard worn for religious reasons would pose a problem.

Idaho court rejects man’s religious-based defense on pot charges

State appeals court finds ‘evidence that (Cary William) White’s marijuana use is based on more secular precepts.’

30 years ago today, high court backed student Christian group

In Widmar v. Vincent, Justices said public universities can’t discriminate against student groups on the basis of their religious views.

Student religious fliers probably OK in Pa. school, court says

Granting preliminary injunction, federal district judge calls school district’s criteria for allowing or disallowing student handouts to be ‘elusive’ and ‘too broad and vague to be considered reasonable.’

Minn. appeals court rejects felon’s request for name change

Man’s claim of religious reasons for renaming himself fails to sway appeals court in case involving whether a name change might harm public safety.

Inmate fails to show substantial burden of his religious liberty

Prisoner in psychiatric hospital whose prayer book was temporarily taken away with other possessions fails to persuade federal judge that his religious freedom was violated.

Questions of religion, child custody require delicate balance

Kansas high court: Judges must ensure that they don’t discriminate against a parent’s religious beliefs but also that they don’t ignore the harmful effects of certain religiously motivated conduct.

3rd Circuit invalidates Del. school-board prayer

Panel rules that opening a school-board meeting with prayer is more like a graduation prayer, as students may be present, than a legislative prayer, as the board had argued.

1st Circuit upholds clean-shaven policy for inmates

Former New Hampshire prisoner’s religious-liberty arguments that the no-beards rule infringed on his Orthodox Jewish practice fails to sway panel.

Judge denies Utah inmate some Norse religious items

Adherent of Odinism or Ahatru had contended that his religion required wooden or metal objects as opposed to alternatives provided by the prison.

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