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The other side of the coin: The Supreme Court considers freedom of conscience in the light of Obergefell

We have previously looked at the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges,1 in which the Court found that the rights embodied in the U.S. Constitution included a right for homosexuals to marry (“The Supreme Court Finds a Right to Homosexual Marriage [1-3],” Dec. 15,…

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Corporations and the Free Exercise Clause

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” We all recognize this language as the legal basis for the freedom of religion we enjoy in the United States. But does this protection…

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Vermont Supreme Court Extends Marital Benefits to Homosexual Couples: Invites Same-Sex Marriages

Mr. Lanting, a member of Cornerstone Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. May the State of Vermont exclude same-sex couples from the benefits and protections that its laws provide to opposite-sex married couples? That is the fundamental question we address, a question that the Court well knows arouses deeply-felt…

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Narrow Victory for Religious Expression: Government Funding Allowed for Christian Student Newspaper

Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. “To obey the Establishment Claus, it was not necessary for the University to deny eligibility to student publications because of their religious viewpoint. The viewpoint discrimination inherent in the University’s regulation required public officials to discern…

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State Supreme Court Approves Vouchers for Religious Private Schools

Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. The [Milwaukee voucher] program does not involve the state in any way with the school’s governance, curriculum, or day-to-day affairs. The state’s regulation of participating private schools, while designed to insure that the program’s educational purposes…

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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Colorado’s Constitutional Amendment Repudiating Preferential Treatment of Homosexuals

Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. We cannot accept the view that Amendment 2’s prohibition on specific legal protection does no more than deprive homosexuals of special rights. To the contrary, the amendment imposes a special disability upon those persons alone. Homosexuals…

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Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Physician-assisted Suicide–No Constitutional “Right to Die”

Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. We disagree with the claim that the distinction between refusing lifesaving medical treatment and assisted suicide is “arbitrary” and “irrational.” Granted, in some cases, the line between the two may not be clear, but certainty is…

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A Federal Court Declares Nation’s First Physician-Assisted Suicide Law Unconstitutional

Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. “Oregon’s Assisted Suicide Act withholds from terminally ill citizens the same protections from suicide the majority enjoys. In the process, it has lowered standards and reduced protections to a degree that there is little assurance that…

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Is It Morally Justifiable to Terminate Ordinary Medical Treatment for Dying Persons?

Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. “So when artificial nourishment provides no detectable benefits but does cause various sorts of hardships, one can argue that withdrawing it signals covenantal concern, not abandonment. We conclude, then, that withdrawing artificial feeding should sometimes be…

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Court Rejects Layman Taxpayer’s Claim for Religious Exemption from Self-employment Social Security Taxes

Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. Droz does not belong to any religious organization that provides for its dependent members. Thus, permitting him to get out of the Social Security system would not only threaten the integrity of the system, but would…

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Protestant Reformed Worker Successfully Asserts Conscientious Objector Status at Union Shop

Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. “Defendant Nichols had the right, under the religious accommodation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, to make a substituted charitable payment in lieu of joining or financially supporting the labor union.” Machinists &…

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Roe V. Wade (A Bitterly Divided Supreme Court Reluctantly Reaffirms Roe V. Wade But Widens States’ Power to Establish Abortion Restrictions)

Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. “The abortion matter is not before us in the first instance, and coming as it does after nearly 20 years of litigation in Roe’s wake, we are satisfied that the immediate question is not the soundness…

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Recent Developments in Church and State Law

Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod Radio Station Escapes FCC Affirmative Action Demands The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the licensure of radio stations and scrutinizes applications for license renewals. One such FCC regulation requires license renewal…

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