Federalism

Short Circuit Podcast on the First Amendment and Student Newspaper Funding,

religious organizations' right to discriminate in some employment decisions, and federal funding conditions preferring local agencies that help federal immigration enforcement.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

I much enjoyed participating in this podcast, which was taped in front of a student audience Wednesday here at UCLA; here is IJ's summary of the three cases my UCLA colleague Richard Re, Robert Everett Johnson (Jones Day), and I discussed:

After a student newspaper at the University of California, San Diego published a piece satirizing safe spaces and trigger warning, the student government pulled funding for all print media. A First Amendment violation? And…

When doling out federal grant money for community policing efforts, the DOJ gives preference to local departments that promise to cooperate with federal immigration efforts. Which, says Los Angeles, would actually undermine community trust in police. Did the DOJ exceed the powers delegated to it by Congress? And …

Religious organizations need not comply with some aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But does the so-called "ministerial exception" extend to a Catholic school that fired a fifth grade teacher who needed time off for chemotherapy?

 

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  1. For what it’s worth. I don’t have time to listen to podcasts. I prefer written materials. It may be just me, but I think that it takes more effort and scholarship to write an article than it does to record what goes on in a podcast.

    1. I also don’t listen to podcasts, much preferring reading materials.

      Written material tends to be clearer, take less time, and also allows you easily to go back and reread something you didn’t quite get.

      Just my opinion.

    2. It’s not just you, I only listen to them under exceptional circumstances, too. I can read much faster than most people talk, I can instantly go back if something is unclear, AND, I’m gradually going deaf to boot.

  2. does the so-called “ministerial exception” extend to a Catholic school that fired a fifth grade teacher who needed time off for chemotherapy?

    Does the school purport to offer moral instruction to its students?

    1. That a Catholic institution fired the teacher for needing chemotherapy (a new twist — usually it’s for being gay, or getting pregnant or blowing the whistle on a child molester), then claimed special privilege to do so because superstition, could explain why organized religion is fading in America, especially in successful, educated, modern communities.

      Childhood indoctrination no longer seems enough to keep organized religion afloat.

    2. Was the teacher fired for needing time off for chemotherapy, or would the teacher have been fired for needing time off for any reason whatsoever?

      I mean, I’m quite sympathetic to that particular circumstance, having been through chemo, but if the teacher would have been fired for being a no-show regardless of the reason or whether it was voluntary or not, that it was chemotherapy would seem irrelevant.

      Did the school actually have the funds to pay two teachers for one class, one of whom wouldn’t actually be present?

      That said, firing her was hardly the Christian thing to do, regardless of the law.

      1. “That said, firing her was hardly the Christian thing to do, regardless of the law.”

        Are you trying to claim that Jerry Falwell Jr., Paula White, nine-figure televangelists, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, faith healers, Robert Jeffress, Creflo Dollar, Pat Robertson, the Catholic Church, Jim Bakker, Franklin Graham, and ostentatious fans of both Corinthians aren’t Christian?

  3. if the teacher would have been fired for being a no-show regardless of the reason or whether it was voluntary or not, that it was chemotherapy would seem irrelevant.

    I don’t agree with this. If the teacher wanted time off to write a novel that’s one thing, chemo is something else. Regardless, to use an expression a friend of mine is fond of, it chaps my ass to see religious institutions use their various exemptions and privileges in ways that fundamentally have zero to do with religious exercise.

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