The Weekly Five

The Weekly Five showcases articles about commercial dealings among co-religionists, the reach of anti-discrimination laws, European cases and contexts involving the wearing of religious clothing and the registration of religious groups, and the free speech implications of regulating “spiritual advisors.”

1. Michael A. Helfand (Pepperdine) & Barak D. Richman (Duke), The Challenge of Co-Religionist Commerce: Two former CLR Forum guests argue for a contextualist (as against a formalist) approach to the adjudication of contracts and commercial dealings among members of religious communities. The article also amplifies on Professor Helfand’s previous work on “Establishment Clause creep,” arguing for a more engaged role for courts in this context.

2. Sahar F. Aziz (Texas Tech), Veiled Discrimination: Professor Aziz argues that while Title VII prohibits cover bias, it does a bad job in protecting against “implicit bias arising from negative stereotypes of protected classes”; and “disparate treatment of subgroups of protected classes who do not conform to coercive assimilationist pressures.” This failing is a particular problem for individuals who fall into several categories of protected classes–for example, women with religious commitments.

3. Michelle Biddulph & Dwight G. Newman (both of Saskatchewan), Eweida v. United Kingdom: This is a short and useful piece discussing four recent controversies at the European Court of Human Rights, two of which involve the wearing of religious clothing by Christians and two of which concern the provision of services by religious objectors to gay people.

4. Jeroen Temperman (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Recognition, Registration, and Autonomy of Religious Groups: European Approaches and Their Human Rights Implications: In the context of surveying various categories of demands imposed on religions in Europe for official recognition (including numerical and durational requirements), Professor Temperman argues that these demands are illegitimate. He also reviews the conflict between European states’ egalitarian interests and various religious autonomy interests, reaching a more intermediate conclusion.

5. Nicole Jones, Did Fortune-Tellers See This Coming? Spiritual Counseling, Professional Speech, and the First Amendment: An interesting comment about the ways in which “spiritual counseling” are more similar to religious speech than to professional speech for purposes of the First Amendment and state regulation. The piece discusses the free speech implications of the “Psychic Sophie” case also studied from another angle by my colleague, Mark, in his new piece.

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