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Discrimination Law

A New Vanguard for Civil Rights in 1999: "Opportunity Scholarships" and the Florida "A+ Plan"

Civil Rights Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 2, Summer 1999
Daniel Woodring, Justin Sayfie May 05, 2009
The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, among others, have filed suit challenging Florida's recently enacted Opportunity Scholarship (voucher) program. Plaintiffs say that the program violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause and similar Florida constitutional provisions. However, they have also challenged the program on the basis of Florida constitutional provisions that are separate and apart from the establishment clause issues: in short, they are engaging in a full frontal assault on Opportunity Scholarships.

A Preview of the Supreme Court October 2008 Term - Audio/Video

Audio and Video
Allyson Newton Ho, William G. Otis, Virginia Seitz, Kannon K. Shanmugam, George J. Terwilliger III, Terry Eastland October 03, 2008

The Federalist Society recently sponsored a panel of noted legal practitioners and scholars on the upcoming Supreme Court term.  Panelists included Allyson Ho of Morgan Lewis, William Otis, Former White House Special Counsel, Virginia Seitz of Sidley Austin, Kannon Shanmugam, Former Assistant to the Solicitor General, George Terwilliger of White & Case and Former Deputy Attorney General, and Terry Eastland of The Weekly Standard as the moderator. [Listen or watch!]

A Religious Organization's Autonomy in Matters of Self-Governance: Hosanna-Tabor and the First Amendment

Engage Volume 13, Issue 1, March 2012
Carl H. Esbeck March 22, 2012

A Religious Organization's Autonomy in Matters of Self-Governance: Hosanna-Tabor and the First AmendmentIn the second week of January, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its unanimous decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The case involved a fourth-grade teacher, Cheryl Perich, suing her employer, a church-based school, alleging retaliation for having asserted her rights under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the original suit, and the teacher intervened as a party. In the lower federal courts Hosanna-Tabor raised the “ministerial exception,” which recognizes that under the First Amendment religious organizations have the authority to select their own ministers—which necessarily entails not just initial hiring but also promotion, retention, and other terms and conditions of employment. Over the last forty years the ministerial exception has been recognized by every federal circuit to have considered it. Indeed, the exception overrides not just the ADA but also a number of venerable employment nondiscrimination civil rights statutes. Just who is a “minister,” however, has varied somewhat from circuit to circuit—and in any event the Supreme Court had never taken a case involving the ministerial exception. [Read more!]

A Review of Supreme Court Labor and Employment Cases, 2008 - Event Audio

Labor & Employment Law Practice Group
Eric Dreiband, Willis J. Goldsmith, Michael H. Gottesman, Joseph M. Sellers, Eugene Scalia April 09, 2008
FactoryThe current Supreme Court Term promises to be one of the most important in years for labor and employment lawyers, with the Court taking up cases on the scope of admissible evidence in discrimination cases, the parties' burden in age discrimination class actions, unions' ability to agree to arbitration as the exclusive means for resolving discrimination complaints, states' ability to restrict employers' use of state contract funds in opposing union organizing, and several other important issues.  On April 4 at the National Press Club, the Federalist Society hosted a panel of nationally-recognized experts who discussed the leading cases before the Court this Term and what they could mean for the direction of labor and employment law.

A Supreme Fallacy: "Diversity" and the High Court

Civil Rights Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 1999
Brian W. Jones May 05, 2009
So civil-rights advocacy has come to this. In the wake of the recent revelation that less than 4 percent of the clerks employed by the nine current justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have been Hispanic or African-Americans, liberal civil-rights activists have reacted with predictable self-righteous indignation. Many have used the opportunity to criticize the Supreme Court's restrained jurisprudence and to open a new front in the lonely, reargued effort to preserve race-based affirmative action. Rep. Gregory Meeks, for example, has introduced in the House of Representatives HR591, a resolution urging the court to implement recruiting procedures to ensure that diversity is emphasized -- a not-so-veiled invitation to preferential policies, to be sure.