Religious Freedom

City of Orlando v. First Vagabonds Church of God

A church in Orlando, Florida, had a ministry of holding church services for and of feeding the homeless in a public park. After residents in the surrounding neighborhood complained, Orlando passed an ordinance specifically aimed at making the church’s services impossible. The church sued, arguing the ordinance violated its First Amendment rights of free speech, free exercise of religion, and free assembly; and the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Unfortunately, the district court and the court of appeals ruled against the church.

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Association of Christian Schools International v. Stearns

The Association of Christian Schools International, one of its member schools, and 5 of that school’s students sued the University of California officials who are responsible for determining whether high school courses qualify as “college preparatory” courses. These officials had denied that status to 38 course by Christian schools. Unfortunately, the district court and the court of appeals ruled against the plaintiffs.

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Morgan v. Plano Independent School District

This is the famous “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” pencils case. Four families challenged the constantly changing policies of the Plano Independent School District that governed student distribution of written materials. The district court ruled in favor of the school district on some points and in favor of the parents on other points. In turn, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the district court’s decision on some points and reversed it on others.

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Corder v. Lewis-Palmer School District No. 38

In her valedictorian speech, Erica Corder mentioned Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection. In retaliation her school told her she would not receive her diploma until she publicly apologized. She sued the district for violation of her rights of free speech, free exercise of religion, and related rights. Unfortunately, both the district court and the court of appeals ruled in favor of the school district.

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Croft v. Govenor of Texas

Parents of public school children sued, alleging the Texas Moment of Silence law violated the Establishment Clause because it mentioned that children could silently pray among other choices. Both the district court and the court of appeals ruled against the parents and upheld the law.

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Netherland v. City of Zachary

There are two arguments being addressed: First, the City of Zachary is squelching free speech and the Court below appropriately issued a preliminary injunction, enjoining this violation of Mr. Netherland’s constitutional rights.  Second, the District Court correctly noted that the protestors in Ovadal were protesting on a pedestrian overpass and the police were called because the signs were causing traffic problems.  The District Court reasoned that there was a significant difference between holding a sign on an overpass, and speaking on an open easement.

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Nuxoll v. Indian Prairie School District No. 204

The District Court erred because a Heckler’s Veto can not be employed to foreclose Freedom of Speech.  In addition, the District Court erred because school administrators are diluting Nuxoll’s message by restricting his chosen message, and because school officials are compelling speech by refusing to allow Nuxoll to express any message which is not tolerant of homosexuality.  Finally, the District Court erred because it misconstrued several of this court’s precedents.

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Bowman v. United States of America

The District Court should be reversed in the following instances: First, Congress’s primary purpose was reducing the military forces and encouraging early retirement; Second, the Secretary of Defense acted Ultra Vires in promulgating the regulation of organizations that former service personnel could work.

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