Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast Todd F. Gaziano January 22, 2015
On Wednesday, January 21, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project Inc. The Supreme Court has previously attempted twice to hear cases reaching the question of whether disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act, in Magner v. Gallagher and Mount Holly v. Mount Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, and in both instances the cases were settled less than a month before oral arguments. The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to “refuse to sell or rent . . . or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race.” Do policies that can be demonstrated to have a discriminatory effect on certain racial groups, without a showing of discriminatory intent, violate the statute?
Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Podcast
- Hon. Todd F. Gaziano, Executive Director, Washington, D.C. Center and Senior Fellow in Constitutional Law, Pacific Legal Foundation
On January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Reed v. Town of Gilbert. The Town of Gilbert has a sign code that imposes limits on the size, location, number, and duration of the signs advertising the weekly services of the Good News Community Church, whose pastor, Clyde Reed, sued. The sign code does not impose the same restrictions on political, ideological, and homeowners’ association signs. Does the First Amendment rule against content discrimination require a plaintiff to prove intentional discrimination by a government entity? Does the Town of Gilbert's assertion that its sign code lacks a discriminatory motive render its facially content-based sign code content-neutral and justify the code's differential treatment of religious signs?
2014 National Lawyers Convention
- Hans A. von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013-14 Term included two major religion cases, Town of Greece v. Galloway and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. In Galloway, the Court held that prayers offered by local clergy at the start of town board meetings did not violate the Establishment Clause. In Hobby Lobby, the Court held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act required that corporations whose owners object to the HHS contraceptive mandate be exempt from it. The panel will explore, from a range of perspectives, the significance of Hobby Lobby and the religious freedom jurisprudence of the Roberts Court. Among the topics to be considered are the analysis under RFRA of the government’s compelling interest and the narrow tailoring requirements, the interplay between religious exemptions and the Establishment Clause, emerging issues at the intersection of religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws, ongoing challenges to the HHS contraceptive mandate, and the legacy of Hobby Lobby for future First Amendment and religious freedom cases.
The Federalist Society's Religious Liberties Practice Groups presented this panel on "Religious Liberty after Hobby Lobby" on Thursday, November 13, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
- Ms. Kim Colby, Senior Counsel, Christian Legal Society
- Prof. William P. Marshall, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished --Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law
- Prof. Robin Fretwell Wilson, Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law and Director, Program in Family Law and Policy, University of Illinois College of Law
- Moderator: Hon. Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
- Introduction: Mr. William L. Saunders, Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel, Americans United for Life and Chairman, Religious Liberties Practice Group
Mayflower Hotel Religious Liberties Practice Group Podcast
On July 21, 2014 President. Obama issued Executive Order 13672, amending EO 11246 which has been around since 1965. The new EO added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of prohibited bases of employment discrimination by federal contractors. The order applies to all employees of a contractor, not just those working on a federal contract. It also requires the contractor to hold itself out to the public as an equal opportunity employer with respect to these newly protected classes, and to post in conspicuous places notice to employees and job applicants of its nondiscrimination duties.
Some religious organizations are federal contractors. This has long been the practice with respect to international relief efforts, as well as for services to meet the religious needs of those in prison and serving in the armed forces. Religious organizations petitioned the White House for an exemption from these new requirements. Although they did not succeed, they were able to convince President Obama to leave intact a more limited religious exception permitting religious organizations to staff on a religious basis, an exception drawn from Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
- Prof. Carl H. Esbeck, R.B. Price Professor Emeritus and Isabelle Wade & Paul C. Lyda Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Missouri, Columbia School of Law
- Dr. Stanley W. Carlson-Thies, Founder and President, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance; Senior Fellow and former Director of Social Policy Studies, Center for Public Justice; former Director, White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives
- Prof. Robin Fretwell Wilson, Director, Program in Family Law and Policy, University of Illinois College of Law
Race-based affirmative action had been declining as a factor in university admissions even before the recent spate of related cases arrived at the Supreme Court. Since the mid-1990s, the percentage of four-year public colleges that consider racial or ethnic status in admissions has fallen from 60 percent to 35 percent. Only 45 percent of private colleges still explicitly consider race, with elite schools more likely to do so, although they too have retreated. Law school professor and civil rights activist Sheryll Cashin believes that this isn’t entirely bad news, because, as she argues, affirmative action as currently practiced does little to help disadvantaged people. The truly disadvantaged are not getting the quality schooling they need in part because backlash and wedge politics undermine any possibility for common-sense public policies. Using place instead of race in diversity programming, she writes, will better amend the structural disadvantages endured by many children of color, while enhancing the possibility that we might one day move past the racial resentment that affirmative action engenders. In Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America, Professor Cashin reimagines affirmative action and champions place-based policies, arguing that college applicants who have thrived despite exposure to neighborhood or school poverty are deserving of special consideration.