Legal Spirits Episode 036: Looking Back and Ahead at Law and Religion Cases at the Supreme Court

In this episode, we look at the biggest law and religion case at the Supreme Court last term, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, and the two most significant such cases on the Court’s docket for the new term so far. The first, Carson v. Makin, looks like it could be a major case on the issue of whether the state may distinguish between “status” and “use” in deciding whether to exclude a religious school from its tuition aid programs. The second, Ramirez v. Collier, concerns a RLUIPA challenge to a Texas restriction on what ministers and clergy may do in capital cases in ministering inside the execution chamber. Listen in!

Around the Web

  • The Department of Justice announced that it has filed suit in a Texas federal district court to prevent the state of Texas from enforcing Texas’ “heartbeat” abortion ban.
  • In Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, et al v. Slatery, the Sixth Circuit upheld a federal judge’s decision to block a Tennessee law restricting abortion. The Tennessee law prohibited abortions once a fetal heartbeat was detected and for certain other reasons, such as a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis or the sex or race of the fetus.
  • In Chaaban v. City of Detroit, a Michigan federal court held that corrections officials who forced a Muslim woman to remove her hijab for a booking photograph after her arrest were not entitled to qualified immunity on her free exercise violation claims. 
  • In John Doe I v. Hochul, health care workers in New York are challenging the absence of religious exemptions in New York State’s mandate that all health care workers receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • In St. Michael’s Media v. City of Baltimore, a Catholic group filed suit in federal district court in Maryland against the city of Baltimore for requiring the cancellation of a scheduled prayer rally.
  • In Ramaekers v. Creighton University, four students sued Creighton University, a Jesuit-affiliated school, for denying their request to obtain religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The university currently allows students to request medical exemptions but does not allow exemptions based on religious objections.
  • India’s Supreme Court dismissed a “forced conversion” case against a Catholic priest who organized a group of theology students to sing Christmas carols.