You can file this under "Guidance Counselors' I'm Glad I Never Had," or whatever it is you call your miscellaneous crazy file (you know, the file were you keep print outs of the most ridiculous stuff you've read). Said guidance counselor published an adult "sex advice" book, and then was surprised when he lost his job as a tenured guidance counselor at a public school, in a Chicago suburb.
Recent Civil Rights Law Decisions
Did you know that the clergy get tax breaks? Neither did we. Apparently there's a section in the federal tax code that allows "a minister of the gospel" to not include rental allowances in gross income calculations for tax purposes.
We know Obamacare has provoked litigation regarding its legality and application, but even robocall statutes? It seems the Affordable Care Act is full of litigious inspiration.
Indiana Robocall Law
Indiana has taken a strong stand against robocallers -- it has prohibited the use of automatic dialing devices except in limited circumstances where a person consents (directly or impliedly) to receiving the message. Patriotic Veterans, Inc. ("Veterans") uses robocalls for political speech -- and in the event that gave rise to the present litigation -- to notify veterans and seniors about the passage of Obamacare resulting in cuts to Medicare.
With religious challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate popping up all over the country, the Seventh Circuit has taken a stance -- and has even taken it a step further than other courts.
The Seventh Circuit has determined that people and their secular, for-profit companies can challenge the contraception mandate on religious grounds, and remanded with instructions to enter preliminary injunctions preventing enforcement of the contraception mandate.
While other courts have come to similar conclusions, the Seventh Circuit is the only one to instruct the district court to issue injunctions.
It's not often that a circuit court addresses a question of first impression in its circuit, getting the opportunity to weigh in on a circuit split, but last week, that is what happened in the Seventh Circuit.
Further deepening the divide among the circuits, the Seventh held that Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply to public employment discrimination-based claims.
Sergeant Kyll Lavalais worked for the Village of Melrose Park Police Department for over twenty years. Of about 75 officers, he was the only African-American officer in the department. In 2010, feeling he was being discriminated against, he filed a complaint with the EEOC. In January 2011, he filed another claim with the EEOC claiming he was retaliated against for making the initial claim the year before.
One month later, Lavalais was made a sergeant and assigned to the midnight shift. He served in this position for one year and two months, and then requested a different shift, which the police chief denied. The third time was the charm, and in July 2012, after filing a third claim with the EEOC, he was given a right-to-sue letter.
We called it. What probably will be one of many upsets this Supreme Court term has happened: the writ of certiorari for Madigan v. Levin was dismissed as improvidently granted.
In a mere-five page decision, Judge Easterbrook told a brother and sister that their case of sibling rivalry over parenting was simply not a federal case (pun completely intended, you're welcome).
No, this case doesn't provide us with ground-breaking legal precedent. But, when Judge Easterbrook reprimands everyone in the courtroom it makes for very entertaining reading.
It takes a big person to admit when they are wrong, and last week, Judge Posner did just that.
In 2007, Judge Posner wrote the Crawford v. Marion County Election Board decision, which upheld an Indiana voter ID law requiring voters to show valid ID when voting at a polling place. In 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed Judge Posner's Crawford decision.