First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
Court Term: 2002-2003
   Petitions Filed
 
Freedom of Religion
 
 Petitions for Review (pending cases)
  African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church v. From the Heart Church Ministries, Inc.
  May court adjudicating property dispute between religious denomination and local congregation, consistent with the First Amendment, disregard denomination’s constitution and instead conduct general “totality of circumstances” analysis of ecclesiastical relationship between presiding church official and subordinate pastor, and between denomination and departing embers?
  Andersen v. United States
  (1) Is there an exemption to the non-appealability of Rule 41(e) motions when the government’s seizures of materials amount to serious, imminent and irreparable violationsof First Amendment rights? (2) Did the Court of Appeals, having found that it lacked jurisdiction over certain of plaintiffs’ claims, nonetheless have jurisdiction over plaintiffs’ representative claims on behalf of more than 70,000 members of organization that claimed that its First Amendment rights to associational anonymity were being violated?
  Bhatti v. Singh
  Court order requiring election of congregation’s trustees. Does the First Amendment require that a court, in resolving intra-church disputes by ordering congregational election of church trustees, remain neutral in election and assure that election is conducted democratically and with procedural fairness?
  Christie v. United States
  (1) Do the words “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency violate petitioner’s free exercise of religion and/or Establishment Clause of the First Amendment? (2) Is petitioner’s unwanted contact with government prayer and Bible use at past and future Inaugurations “injury,” and therefore a violation of the Establishment Clause? (3) Does granting tax-exempt status to a church that forbids females from positions of authority within its organization constitute government support of gender discrimination? (4) Does petitioner have standing to challenge tax exemptions based on a church’s discrimination practices?
  Dreiling v. Kansas
  Was a criminal defendant’s First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion right violated when evidence pertaining to his religious beliefs and practices was admitted into evidence at trial to show motive to commit murder, in absence of evidence establishing that his religion promoted or encouraged criminal activity of any kind?
  San Diego v. Paulson
  Constitutionality of city’s sale of site with Latin cross to highest bidder. When a city establishes as a condition of sale that a piece of property containing a 43-foot tall cross be maintained as a war memorial and provides that preserving the cross would satisfy that condition, it gives a direct, immediate, and substantial economic incentive to those bidders supporting preservation of the cross, thereby advancing a sectarian message in violation of Art. XVI, Sec. 5, of the California Constitution.
  Warren v. Morris Cerullo World Evangelism
  Whether plaintiff minister can maintain an fraud and other actions against evangelical organization re certain alleged work promises made to him relating to the religious conduct of organization.
 Review Denied
  Alabama West Florida United Methodist Conference v. Carnesi
  Whether the trial court erred by granting summary judgment in favor of the church defendants in this sexual harassment case based on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment where neither the complaining party nor the offending actor is a minister or ministerial employee and judicial review will not involve an investigation into religious or church doctrinal matters.
  American Family Association v. San Francisco
  First Amendment Lemon v. Kurtzman challenge brought by religious groups contesting California municipality’s resolution urging local TV stations not to broadcast advertising campaigns aimed at “converting” homosexuals. Municipality also sent letter to plaintiff religious groups opposing its sponsorship of “Truth in Love” campaign against homosexuals.
  Ferry Pass United Methodist Church v. Carnesi
  Whether the trial court erred by granting summary judgment in favor of the church defendants in this sexual harassment case based on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment where neither the complaining party nor the offending actor is a minister or ministerial employee and judicial review will not involve an investigation into religious or church doctrinal matters.
  Henderson v. Stalder
  Establishment Clause challenge against “Choose Life” license plates) (no standing). In 2000, a federal judge had stopped the state from distributing the plates, which have a picture of a baby wrapped in a blanket in the beak of a brown pelican, the state bird. But earlier this year an appeals court said the opposing groups did not have standing to sue.
  Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
  Schools: use of tax-exempt revenue bonds for sectarian university - Establishment clause. Defendants appealed the district court's order granting summary judgment to plaintiffs and issuing a permanent injunction prohibiting the Industrial Development Board and the Metropolitan Government from issuing additional tax-exempt bonds to David Lipscomb University or bonds to any other pervasively sectarian institution. The Sixth. Cir. reversed.
  Silver v. Commack Self-Service Kosher Meats
  At issue in this case was the way New York regulated kosher products to ensure they met strict Orthodox Judaism religious requirements. The state appeals court held that the laws improperly take sides in a religious matter.
  Steele v. Industrial Development Bd.
  Whether the issuance of tax exempt revenue bonds violates the Establishment Clause, if the bonds are for the benefit of an institution found by the district court to be pervasively sectarian.
  World Church of the Creator v. Te-Ta-Ma Truth Foundation
  Whether the phrase "Church of the Creator," as part of an incontestable trademark, is generic and may not be the basis of an infringement suit between the two organizations re a symbol attached to Church of the Creator. First Amend. issue: whether Recognizing a trademark in “Church of the Creator” violates the Establishment clause of the First Amendment.
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