First Amendment

First Amendment

The Supreme Court Bans Worship in NYC Public School Buildings

hands in prayer and bibleFor the past 17 years, the Bronx Household of Faith has been pressing its case for allowing religious worship services to be held at public schools. On December 5, 2011, the Supreme Court rejected the small church’s plea yet again. In its ruling, the Supreme Court also left in place a ruling with allows public schools to offer prayer and religious instruction but bans worship services.

“We’re very disappointed,” said Pastor Robert Hall. “We think this is a dangerous precedent that allows the state to make a distinction between various types of religious activity.”

For the past several years, many religious groups in New York have been conducting their worship services in public buildings, including Public School 15, where the Bronx Household of Faith has been worshiping since 2002. However, according to the new action passed by the Supreme Court, this will not be allowed after February 12, 2012.

“We view this as a victory for the city’s schoolchildren and their families,” said Jane Gordon, a senior counsel for the city of New York City. “The department was quite properly concerned about having any school in this diverse city identified with one particular religious belief or practice.”

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Supreme Court Settles Christian Law Student Group Case

It does not sound too far-fetched: some college students form a group and set restrictions concerning who they want in their group. Fraternities and sororities do it every day, concerning gender restrictions. Academic groups set restrictions concerning GPA standards.supreme-court

However, when a Christian campus group applied for official recognition at University of California‘s Hastings College of the Law, it was rejected because it required members to share its religious views and views on marriage. The student group sued the school, and the case went to the Supreme Court. Today, the Supreme Court ruled against the student group. The main conflict was the school’s anti-discrimination policies versus the student group’s First Amendment Rights, mainly those of religion and association.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the school was “caught in the crossfire between a group’s desire to exclude and students’ demand for equal access, may reasonably draw a line in the sand permitting all organizations to express what they wish but no group to discriminate in membership.” Read the rest of this entry »



Students Sent Home During Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Image via: Wikimedia.org

Image via: Wikimedia.org

Who knew you could get kicked out of school due to the clothes you wear? On May 5, 2010, five students were sent home because they wore t-shirts with the American flag printed on them, which was offensive to the school’s Mexican-American population. But legally, a school cannot suspend students due to their clothing choices.

So what gives?

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Christian Law Student Group Case Goes to the Supreme Court

hastings college of law

The University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in the Christian Legal Society versus Martinez has drawn national and international media coverage about the First Amendment argument of whether or not the Christian Legal Society may receive student-activity funding as a result of its ban on homosexual and non-Christian student admissions into its club.

According to a press release released by the Hastings College of the Law, the Christian Legal Society, which brought  on the lawsuit, was denied status as a registered student organization in 2004, when it refused to agree to comply with the law school’s open membership and insisted on the right to exclude students on the basis of their sexual orientation.

The Christian Legal Society wants official recognition without following the Hastings’ guidelines and anti-discrimination policy.

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