| Officials in East Lansing, Mich., crafted a new ordinance to keep the Tennes family from selling their local produce
by Mary Reichard Posted 6/06/17, 08:35 am
Like many business people today, Steve and Bridget Tennes rely on multiple streams of income to pay the bills. They run an orchard called Country Mill Farms in Charlotte, Mich., that doubles as a wedding venue. When the city of East Lansing learned the Tenneses only host heterosexual weddings, it banned them from the town’s farmers market.
Last Wednesday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed suit on behalf of the Tennes family. ADF senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco said the city found out about the family’s religious beliefs in August.
| A refugee who lied asks the Supreme Court for another chance
by Mary Reichard Posted 5/01/17, 02:45 pm
The Supreme Court’s final oral argument of this term dealt with the Ninth Commandment: “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” The Bible is clear about lying, but the government’s rules—as this case shows—are less so.
| Case questions how faith-based hospitals run their pension plans
Mary Reichard | 4/10/17, 01:09 pm
A Supreme Court case involving three hospital systems once again brought up the ongoing legal question about just what counts as a church. The court heard arguments in the case at the end of March. The decision could effect millions of workers at religiously affiliated hospitals, schools, and other organizations.
| Supreme Court considers state law barring convicts from social media
Mary Reichard | 3/06/17, 03:53 pm
In North Carolina, state law bars registered sex offenders from using social media that children could join, such as Facebook. The state law is aimed at preventing communications between sex offenders and minors.
Lester Packingham of Durham, N.C., claims the law violated his First Amendment rights and took his argument to the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard the case at the end of February.
Packingham, a convicted sex offender, created a Facebook account using an alias. There is no evidence Packingham used the website to communicate with children.
| Two cases this term deal with immigrants suspected of crimes
Mary Reichard | 2/13/17, 03:16 pm
Two cases argued before the Supreme Court in January touched on the ongoing debate over people who are in the United States illegally.
The first case has roots in the 9/11 attacks. It deals with the grievances of those held in detention after the attacks, including Pakistani native Ahmer Iqbal Abbasi. He came to the United States illegally and managed to get a job driving a New York City taxi.
| Supreme Court case highlights inconsistencies in free speech laws
Mary Reichard | 1/24/17, 10:02 am
Over the years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has registered plenty of names of brands, businesses, and musical groups that might offend—the Dead Kennedys, the Sex Pistols, and Redneck Gangsta, to name just a few. Congress has given the government the power to refuse trademarks that “may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute,” but in practice, the patent office has been inconsistent.