- Doug Bandow, Cato Institute
The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) ballot initiative, which extends to housing & employment, has been described as an expansive LGBT anti-discrimination measure. The Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the new Pastor Protection Act are intended to provide rights of conscience protection and some assurance of employment accommodation for religious objectors, in light of initiatives like HERO and the anti-discrimination ordinance in San Antonio. After the Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges decision, more and more states will face the conundrum encountered by states like Indiana, Kentucky, and now Texas, where the recently affirmed LGBT constitutional privacy interest is in tension with state and federal RFRA laws and other constitutional religious objector protections. Will states that desire to carve out religious conviction protections be eclipsed by the momentum of locally based anti-discrimination measures? Do federal laws provide sufficient public office and private party religious expression protection?
Former US Attorney for Minnesota, Rachel Paulose, explains the issues in dispute before the Supreme Court in EEOC v. Abercrombie in which a 17-year-old Muslim applicant alleges employment discrimination when Abercrombie refused to hire her as a "model" because of her religious head-covering. Abercrombie denies the allegation.
As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.
Sexual assault on campus is a serious issue—so serious that it is difficult for some to speak plainly about it. As a result, disagreements abound—even about issues as fundamental as the definition of sexual assault. This panel will discuss the nature and extent of sexual assault on campus. It will examine the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter of April 4, 2011 on sexual violence, the numerous investigations that it has opened in colleges and universities around the country, and the effect they are having on campus. It will also discuss the new "Only Yes Means Yes," laws recently adopted in California and being considered around the country. Among the questions that will be addressed are: How dangerous are our college campuses? From where does the U.S. Department of Education derive the authority to address this issue? Is due process being accorded to those who are accused of sexual assault?
The Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group presented this panel on "Sexual Assult on Campus" on Friday, November 14, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.