Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- In Groff v. DeJoy, the United States Supreme Court will review a Christian mail carrier’s lawsuit alleging the United States Postal Service did not accommodate his religious objection request to delivering packages on Sundays. The Third Circuit held in October 2022 that Groff’s accommodation would cause undue hardship to USPS.
- In Hunter v. U.S. Dept. of Education, an Oregon federal district court dismissed a class-action suit by more than forty students who claimed that the Department of Education failed to protect LGBTQ+ students from discrimination at religious schools. The court wrote that exempting religious schools from Title IX to avoid interfering with their convictions is “substantially related to the government’s objective of accommodating religious exercise.”
- In Hammons v. University of Maryland Medical System Corp., a Maryland federal district held that a hospital’s refusal to perform a procedure to treat the plaintiff’s gender dysphoria was sex discrimination in violation of the Affordable Care Act’s discrimination ban. The University of Maryland-owned hospital was originally a Catholic hospital, and its purchase required the University to abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
- In Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. State of South Carolina, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that the state’s Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act violates a woman’s right to privacy protected by the South Carolina Constitution. The opinion stated that “[the] Act, which severely limits—and in many instances completely forecloses—abortion, is an unreasonable restriction upon a woman’s right to privacy and is therefore unconstitutional.”
- The Hamtramck, Michigan City Council amended the city’s Animal Ordinance to permit animal sacrifices on residential property subject to certain permits and guidelines. Hamtramck has a large Muslim population, and animal sacrifice is a traditional component of Eid al-Adha.
- Per a French court order, the town of La Flotte, France, must remove a statue of the Virgin Mary that stands at a crossroads in the small municipality. Citing a 1905 French law that forbids all religious monuments in public spaces, the court noted that, while town officials had not intended any expression of religious support, “the Virgin Mary is an important figure in Christian religion,” which gives the statue “an inherently religious character.”