Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- In Forter v. Young, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a former prisoner’s complaints about the procedure used to deny his religious meal accommodation request. In seeking access to kosher meals, the former prisoner cited a Bible verse, and a prison official cited an additional verse to express his disagreement. The court found that the official’s response did not constitute an establishment of religion in violation of the establishment clause.
- In Doe I v. Cisco Systems, Inc., the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Falun Gong members, who were victims of human rights abuses carried out by China, can move ahead with claims against Cisco Systems and its executives for their assistance that enabled China to carry out monitoring of Internet activity by Falun Gong members. Falun Gong is a religion that originated in China in the 1990’s.
- In Fitzgerald v. Roncalli High School, Inc., the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a suit based on the ministerial exception doctrine where a Catholic high school guidance counselor’s contract was not renewed because her same-sex marriage was inconsistent with the Catholic school’s religious mission. The court found this to be an easy case because of a recent ministerial exception doctrine decision the court issued last year.
- In Must v. County of Fillmore, the Minnesota Court of Appeals found that the County of Fillmore did not meet its burden of showing it had a compelling interest in requiring the appellants to use septic tanks in violation of their religious beliefs. The appellants were three members of the Amish community who brought suit against the county under RLUIPA.
- In Britain, the House of Commons held a 90-minute debate on a current law which gives 26 bishops of the Church of England the right to automatically have seats in the House of Lords.