Cases Search Results

Fulton v. City of Philadelphia

Catholic Social Services came under fire from the city of Philadelphia, Pa. when it stated it would not place foster children in homes of same-sex couples. Even though they were actually never asked to do so, Catholic Social Services lost their contract with Philadelphia.

Bruni v. City of Pittsburgh

Pro-life advocates in Pittsburgh peaceably engage in one-on-one conversations with, and pass literature to, women about one of the most important decisions they will ever make—whether to kill their unborn baby. They also conduct prayer vigils. However, a Pittsburgh ordinance bars them from doing so within 15 feet of entries to abortion clinics, largely crippling their efforts.

Green v. Haskell County

This case involved a local citizen and the ACLU who sued to have a Ten Commandments Monument declared unconstitutional.  The district court ruled in favor of the county, holding that the monument did not violate the constitution.  The citizen and the ACLU appealed.

Palmer v. Waxahachie Independent School District

A student was repeatedly reprimanded for wearing non-offensive shirts to school. Protection of student speech rights is appropriate because of the nature of compulsory school attendance.

A Woman’s Friend Pregnancy Resource Clinic v. Becerra, Livingwell Medical Clinic v. Becerra and National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra

These cases involved crisis pregnancy centers that were subject to a California State requirement calling for them to make disclosures about their services. But, the state did not require similar disclosures by abortion providers. 

Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC

The term gender identity was coined to distinguish it from the term sex in our civil rights laws. That by itself should end the attempt to equate the two expressions. Similarly, sexual orientation is not a concept inherent in the term sex. Sex refers to one’s objective, biological gender. Sexual orientation refers to one’s romantic preference.

Arlene’s Flowers, Inc. v. Ingersoll

The owner of a floral business in Richland, Washington, has served and employed homosexual and lesbian people for many years. When she refused to participate—designing floral arrangements—in a homosexual wedding she was sued by Washington’s Attorney General.

Turning Point USA v. Rhodes

Free speech is essential to our universities. Without it, and the diversity of opinions and associations it fosters, the mission of higher education is thwarted. When a group of college students wanted to set up a table to promote Turning Point USA—a non-profit organization that educates students about the importance of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government—an administrator stopped them, citing the universities’ speech policy.

June Medical Services v. Gee

The state of Louisiana is trying to keep abortions safe for women by implementing standards requiring doctors who provide outpatient surgery at surgical centers (such as abortion clinics) have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Pro-choice advocates are against this bill because it may reduce the number of abortions.

Kennedy v. Bremerton School District

When a high school football coach was fired for praying with his football players he took his case to court. His freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly were on the line.

Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru & St. James School v. Biel

Our Lady of Guadalupe School and St. James School are both under attack for firing teachers who were deemed unqualified for their positions. The mission of these schools is to provide faith-based education for their students, along with a strong academic curriculum. Yet, in one case, the teacher was unwilling to follow the guidelines of a newly implemented program and in the other, her performance was low.

Archdiocese of Washington v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

The First Amendment right to freedom of speech is being narrowly viewed by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority by not allowing advertisements for Christmas events to be posted. Yet, advertisements for a video game with a warning that it involved extreme violence and sexual themes, is permissible.

American Legion v. American Humanist Association & Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission v. American Humanist Association

Atheists brought suit challenging a monument to those who died in World War I, the Bladensburg Cross; claiming that since it is a religious symbol, it should not stand on public display and that its upkeep should not be funded by the government.

Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries

Many believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. So when the bakers at “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” in Gresham, Oregon were asked to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding, the bakers felt, because of their religious convictions, they could not do so.

Indiana State Department of Health v. Planned Parenthood

The rights of the unborn are at stake, once again, as abortion is used as a tool for getting rid of babies based on sex, race, or disability.

Aloha Bed & Breakfast v. Cervelli

The owner of a bed and breakfast was standing on her belief that renting a room to a same-sex couple would go against her religious convictions.  Yet, Hawai`i’s Intermediate Court of Appeals has penalized her for not allowing the couple to stay at her B & B.

Telescope Media Corp. v. Kevin Lindsey and Lori Swanson

A Minnesota videographer challenged state statute that arguably prohibited them from refusing to provide video service for same-sex marriages when they provided such services for opposite-sex marriages.

Kenosha Unified School District v. Whitaker

A transgender high school girl wanted to use the boys’ facilities at her high school, despite the availability of single-stall bathrooms that offered greater safety. She sued the school district whose policy prevented her from using the boys’ facilities.

City of Bloomfield v. Jane Felix & B.N. Conne

In this case, citizens of Bloomfield, New Mexico, sued their city, claiming that a display of a Ten Commandments monument violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Despite the facts that the display was located in an area in which the city had invited citizens to display other monuments and that a plague stated that the display was private speech, not government speech, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that the monument was, in fact, government speech, and that it did violate the Establishment Clause. The city filed a petition asking the Supreme Court of the United States to review the case.

Masterpiece Cakeshop, LTD. and Jack C. Phillips v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission; Charlie Craig; And David Mullins

In this case, two homosexuals asked a cake shop owner, Jack Phillips, to make a wedding cake for them.  Jack explained that his Christian convictions would not allow him to do so.  The homosexual couple filed a complaint against Jack and the business with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, claiming they had violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws.  The Commission ordered Jack to make the cake.  He appealed that decision through the state court system and ultimately to the Supreme Court of the United States.  The Supreme Court has not yet rendered its decision.  We were involved in two briefs in this case.

Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church v. Unsworth

Montana’s commissioner of political practices ruled that Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church violated election law by participating in a Focus on the Family simulcast and allowing petitions in support of a pro-marriage ballot initiative to be circulated on church premises. 

Lefemine v. Wideman

This case concerns the award of attorney’s fees after a local sheriff’s office violated the First Amendment rights of free exercise, free speech, and free assembly of pro-life protesters.

Havard v. County of Wayne

After an inmate gave birth in jail, the baby suffered severe birth defects as the result of neglect and indifference by jail personnel. The inmate mother sued on behalf of her daughter. The defendant sought to avoid liability by arguing that the baby had not been a “person” during the delivery process.

Sherman v. Koch

The state of Illinois amended its Moment of Silence law, changing it from optional to mandatory for public schools to observe a moment of silence.  The parent of a student sued, alleging the new statute violated the Establishment Clause. The federal district agreed and ruled in the parent’s favor.  The defendants—a school district and the state Superintendent of Education appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Godfrey v. Spano

In this case—actually, two consolidated cases—taxpayers in New York challenged a local executive order and a state policy that recognized out-of-state same-sex marriages. At the time, same-sex marriages were not permitted under New York law. Although the taxpayer plaintiffs lost in the lower courts they appealed to the Court of Appeals.

Salazar v. Buono

A retired U.S. Park Service employee sued, alleging a cross erected in the Mojave Desert, in honor of World War I veterans, violated the Establishment Clause. The lower courts ruled in favor of the employee. However, the Supreme Court held that those courts had not conducted the proper analysis, and reversed the decision of the court of appeals. The case was sent back to the district court for further proceedings.

Alpha Delta Chi v. Reed

A Christian sorority and a Christian fraternity at San Diego State University were denied official status because they required members to profess faith in Christ. The district court ruled against the sorority and fraternity. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed that the university’s general non-discrimination policy was generally constitutional, but that it may have been applied against these groups in an unconstitutional manner. The Ninth Circuit sent the case back to the district court.

World Wide Street Preachers Fellowship v. Town of Columbia

What is at issue is whether the letter and spirit of Monell permit certain kinds of relief to be granted against municipal defendants without a finding of Monell liability.

N.B. v. A.K.

Whether the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, which affords custody and visitation orders full faith and credit, or the Defense of Marriage Act, which does not require full faith and credit be afforded to rights arising from same-sex relationships treated as marriage, controls when Alabama is asked to give full faith and credit to California parentage and custody rights arising from a California court order insofar as Alabama‟s laws expressly declare that any “union replicating marriage of or between persons of the same sex . . . in any other jurisdiction shall be considered and treated in all respects as having no legal force or effect” in Alabama.

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.

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.

Kulstad v. Maniaci

It is difficult to overstate what the court below has done. Simply put, and contrary to precedent from this Court and the United States Supreme Court, the court below created new law grounded in nothing more than a passing reference by this Court—a reference noting that some courts have found an equitable interest in custody and visitation matters on a de facto or psychological parenting theory.

Strauss v. Horton

After the California Supreme Court declared homosexuals could marry, voters amended the state Constitution to prohibit homosexual marriage. Then activists tried to have the amendment declared unconstitutional. This time the Supreme Court ruled correctly by refusing to undo the amendment. However, that left open the question of what to do about same-sex “marriages” that had been solemnized in the interim. The court held those marriages were valid.

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.

Corder v. Lewis-Palmer School District No. 38

In her valedictorian speech, Erica Corder mentioned Jesus Christ, 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.

Pedreira v. Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children

Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children (KBHC) is a private organization that receives some funding from the Commonwealth of Kentucky for its services to at-risk children. Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children (KBHC) is a private organization that receives some funding from the Commonwealth of Kentucky for its services to at-risk children. Because of the religious beliefs held by KBHC, a lesbian employee was fired. She along with another lesbian who claimed that she wanted to apply for employment but would not because it would be futile, sued KBHC for employment discrimination. They also sued Kentucky officials along with KBHC for violating the Establishment Clause.

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.

Roach v. Stouffer

Pro-life Missouri challenged the denial of its request for a specialty plate. The district court and court of appeals ruled that that denial was unconstitutional.

Brown v. City of Pittsburgh

The city of Pittsburgh passed a ordinance that created both a 15-foot buffer zone and a 100-foot bubble zone around hospitals and abortion clinics. A pro-life protester challenged the ordinance under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and Pennsylvania’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In a complicated ruling, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the combination of the two zones was unconstitutional, while ruling against the protester on some other arguments.

Lewis v. New York State Department of Civil Service

As explained by the court: “When defendant Department of Civil Service announced that it would recognize the parties to a same-sex marriage as spouses if their marriage were valid in the jurisdiction where it was solemnized, thereby allowing such spouses of state employees access to the benefits provided under the New York State Health Insurance Program . . . plaintiffs commenced this action as individual taxpayers seeking a declaration that the Department’s recognition of such marriages is illegal, unconstitutional and results in the unlawful disbursement of public funds.”

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.

Hankins v. New York Annual Conference

When a Methodist minister turned 70 and was forced to retire, he sued the NY Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for age discrimination. The issue here is that the “ministerial exception” protects churches from government interference.

In re: Rachel L.

The California Legislature has the duty under Article IX, section 1 under the California Constitution to use “all suitable means” to promote education “which is essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people.” However, trampling a parent’s Free Exercise Rights is not a suitable means. Thus to interpret the statute in such a way as to severely restrict Christian parents’ rights to home-school their children violates the constitutional mandate.

Storman’s, Inc. v. Selecky

Following a period of national attention, the Washington Board of Pharmacy issued a regulation that effectively excluded a right of conscience for pharmacists who could not fill Plan B prescriptions because of their religious convictions. One of the arguments that Appellees presented in their Motion for Preliminary Injunction was that the Board was denying pharmacists the same fundamental right that other health care professionals enjoyed in contravention of the two statutes, and that denial was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

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.

Varnum v. Brien

The District Court erred in treating numerous “ultimate” facts and sociological judgments as findings of fact. This court should reverse the District Court because the fundamental right to marry only includes opposite-sex marriage. The District Court also erred in Citing Justice O’Connor’s concurrence in Lawrence.

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.

Byrne v. Rutledge

The District Court erred when it held that Mr. Byrne withdrew his facial challenge to the statute and regulations at the preliminary injunction stage.  Second, Amicus expands upon Mr. Byrne’s discussion regarding the statute’s viewpoint discrimination.  Amicus’s argument is compatible with, but different from, Mr. Byrne’s argument concerning viewpoint discrimination.

Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins

Whether the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, which affords custody and visitation orders full faith and credit, or the Defense of Marriage Act, which does not require full faith and credit be afforded to rights arising from same-sex unions treated as marriage, controls when Virginia is asked to give full faith and credit to Vermont parentage and custody rights arising from a Vermont civil union insofar as Virginia’s laws expressly declare the civil union “void in all respects.”

ACLU v. Gonzales

First, the District Court was incorrect in holding that “since neither term is defined, the difference in scienter standards creates uncertainty in COPA’s application and renders the terms vague.” The Supreme Court has held “that the language of the statutes that Congress enacts provides ‘the most reliable evidence of its intent.’” Second, this court can review the District Court’s findings of fact because courts must engage in an independent review of the record when, as here, errors of law have infected factual findings. Finally, the ACLU’s argument in this case is inconsistent with its argument to the Supreme Court in United States v. American Library Association regarding computer filtration software.

C. O’Darling v. S. O’Darling

First, Oklahoma is not required to recognize Canadian same-sex marriages because the text and the surrounding context of the term “spouse” demonstrates that only heterosexual marriage was in view. Second, Oklahoma is not required to recognize Canadian same-sex marriages because the history and negotiations and the practical construction of the parties of the term “spouse” demonstrates that only heterosexual marriage was in view.

In re: Marriage Cases

This court should affirm the Court of Appeal’s ruling because the fundamental right to marry only includes opposite-sex marriage.

United States v. Williams

Because Williams’s chat room postings about child pornography for barter fit the characteristics of commercial speech, they should be held to such standards.

M.A.L. v. Kinsland

The District Court’s decision should be affirmed because it will not lead to confusing and complex legal rules and it comports with controlling Supreme Court precedent. Furthermore, the District Court’s decision should be affirmed because the decisions of other courts that have applied forum analysis to student free speech ignore the plain language of Tinker. Finally, the District Court’s decision should be affirmed because in addition to the fact that most of the cases appellants cite are bad law under Tinker, several of them are also inapposite.

Chambers v. Ormiston

The certified question of law presented to the Supreme Court is: “Whether or not the Family Court may properly recognize, for the purpose of entertaining a divorce petition, the marriage of two persons of the same sex who were purportedly married in another state.”

Sephardic Congregation v. Town of Rampo

Rabbi Hankakian meets the officiating clergy requirement of Real Property Tax Law §462 because securing additional full-time outside employment does not prevent a clergyman from being able to fulfill his full-time duties in ministry. A church leader who works full-time as a clergyman and secures outside employment cannot be barred from receiving a tax exemption.

Gillard v. Kuykendall

The District Court should be reversed because requiring Appellant to clean his cell on Saturday constitutes a substantial burden on his religious exercise by forcing him to violate the Sabbath. The District Court should be reversed because requiring Appellant to violate the Sabbath is unreasonable under the Turner analysis.

Witt v. United States Department of the Air Force

In addition to being constitutional for the reasons relied upon by the court, the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy is also constitutional because none of the reasons relied upon to find the policy unconstitutional in prior cases is valid.

Weinbaum v. City of LasCruces

This case should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because Establishment Clause claims are not properly brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. the city seal should be evaluated and upheld under Marsh v. Chambers because it falls within two practices that are “deeply-rooted in our history and tradition.” the Las Cruces seal does not violate the Establishment Clause because the crosses in the design fall short of establishing a religion.

Doe v. Tangipahoa Parish School District

This case should be remanded with instructions to dismiss for want of jurisdiction because Establishment Clause claims are not properly brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This court should apply Marsh v. Chambers because its establishment clause principles are applicable in a wide variety of situations, including the instant case of school board prayers. The school board prayers should be upheld because they are not an unconstitutional form of proselytizing.

ACLU v. Tata

The state of North Carolina issued a “Choose Life” license plate, but would not issue a pro-abortion “Respect Choice” license plate. The ACLU sued North Carolina, alleging this different treatment was a violation of the First Amendment.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Pauley

Trinity Lutheran Church wanted to make the playground of its Child Learning Center safer. So, it applied for a grant from a Missouri state program that helped underwrite the cost of adding rubber surfaces. Although the church’s grant application received one of the highest scores in the evaluation process, the state denied the application based on its policy of denying grants to religiously affiliated applicants. The church sued the state over this discriminatory treatment.

Obergefell v. Hodges

Homosexuals do not constitute either a suspect or quasi-suspect class, and thus, heightened scrutiny is inappropriate.  Among several reasons that this is so is the fact that homosexuals are not politically powerless.

Brenner v. Armstrong

This case argues that political powerlessness is a key factor in identifying protected classes. Homosexuals have powerful political allies both nationally and in Florida. The homosexual community is well-financed by a broad range of contributors and resources. Many religious groups support homosexual causes, and that public opinion is trending in favor of homosexuals, including on the marriage issue.

Kitchen v. Herbert

This case argues that political powerlessness is a key factor in identifying protected classes.  Homosexuals have powerful political allies both nationally and in Utah.  The homosexual community is well-financed by a broad range of contributors and resources.  Many religious groups support homosexual causes, and that public opinion is trending in favor of homosexuals, including on the marriage issue.

Cook v. Rumsfeld

In addition to being constitutional for the reasons relied upon by the court, the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy is also constitutional because none of the reasons relied upon to find the policy unconstitutional in prior cases is valid.

Pleasant Grove City v. Summum

Pleasant Grove City, Utah, had placed donated monuments in a city park. However, when adherents of the Summum religion donated a monument, the City declined to place it in the park. Because the city had accepted a Ten Commandments monument, Summum argued that the city must display a monument containing its Seven Aphorisms, and that to refuse violated Summum’s free speech rights. The Supreme Court held that the monuments were government speech, and Summum could not force the city to speak a message it did not want to speak.

Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Inc. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, et al.

The challenged ordinance not only compels speech.  It also targets specific content and favors a particular viewpoint.  Under the standards recently reaffirmed and clarified by the Supreme Court in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the ordinance violates the First Amendment for these reasons, too.

Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Chino Valley School Board

Prayers at school board meetings are constitutional since they are prayers of “deliberative bodies” as that term is used in Marsh v. Chambers. This is so even if allegedly coercive elements, which would be problematic under other Establishment Clause tests, are present, as has been held in prior cases. The applicability of Marsh is supported by the historical pedigree of school board prayers.

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