church and state

The New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority recently came under fire for allowing advertisements on the New York subways that say, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." [caption id="attachment_14442" align="alignright" width="225"] Goebbels would be proud [/caption] The MTA initially refused...

By J. DeVoy The Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot are being charged with "hooliganism" for mocking religion and criticizing Vladimir Putin, Russia's actual, then de facto, then actual again, leader.  The band's alleged crime: entering the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, climbing on the altar and exhorting the Virgin Mary...

Pennsylvania District Judge Mark Martin needs to review his First Amendment law a little more carefully. Ernie Perce, an atheist who marched in a Halloween parade last year dressed as “zombie Mohammed,” was before Judge Martin after he alleged he was attacked by Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim who took action...

From Charles Platt A judge in Pennsylvania who just happens to be of muslim faith informed a plaintiff that the 1st Amendment doesn't necessarily give you the right to "p people off." The plaintiff had worn a "Zombie Mohammed" costume in a public parade in Mechanicsburg, thus enraging a muslim observer...

By J. DeVoy District of Nevada Judge Philip Pro declined to dismiss Clark County from a lawsuit brought by the ACLU to challenge Nevada's "religious test" for whom may solemnize a marriage as implemented by the County.  Clark County handles marriage matters in the Las Vegas metro area, ranging from issuing...

Today, the Supreme Court in Hosanna-Tabor Church v. EEOC  issued a unanimous ruling on the First Amendment.  While this blog regularly celebrates the Freedom of Speech clause, the decision focuses primarily on the Free Exercise Clause and, to a lesser extent, the Establishment Clause. In a nutshell: Church had 2 types of...

By J. DeVoy Pundits were concerned earlier this year when the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland brought a criminal action against William Lawrence Cassidy.  His alleged crime?  Posting 8,000 harassing twitter messages about Alyce Zeoli, a buddhist leader in Maryland.  The Court dismissed the Government's case, as Cassidy's anonymous speech...

By Jay Wolman I'm impressed.  The Department of Agriculture may have violated two First Amendment provisions at once.  As set forth in the November 8, 2011, Federal Register,  there is a new Christmas Tree Promotion Board.  I'm thinking--Establishment clause violation, perhaps?  But, it gets better.  To fund it, there are assessments...