Born in Texas, Katherine is now a lawyer in the northwestern United States.
On Tuesday, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed the likely unconstitutionality (PDF) of a proposed amendment to the Oklahoma constitution. The proposed amendment, called — I kid you not — the “Save Our State” Amendment, commands that courts “shall not look to the precepts of other nations or cultures” and would have prohibited judges from considering both “international law or Sharia Law” and the laws of other states that “include Sharia Law.” This law would have been weird enough without… Read more
As explained by Eugene Volokh, a recent case out of New Jersey has found judicial orders requiring a husband to provide his wife with a “Jewish divorce” (called a get) are unconstitutional. From what I understand, if a Jewish woman is not given a get by her husband, then she is still considered married in more conservative Jewish communities. This means she cannot remarry within that community, and any children she has with another partner will be considered illegitimate by… Read more
Ginger Strivelli, a parent in North Carolina, got in touch with her local chapter of the ACLU after her fifth-grade son came home from his public school with a copy of the Bible without her prior knowledge or consent. The school denies any wrong-doing, noting the box of Bibles was dropped off by the Gideons, who weren’t allowed any contact with the children. The Bibles were kept in the office where students could stop by for one if they wanted,… Read more
In recent days, I’ve heard stories about two different students, both expressing anti-gay sentiments in a school setting and both being penalized for that expression. They each filed suit after their respective penalties were imposed, so they should each get the same result, right? I don’t think so. First: Jennifer Keeton was a graduate student in counseling at Augusta State University and made no secret of her belief that homosexuality is a choice (and a morally wrong one at that). … Read more
I have an affinity for cases in which the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment bumps up against some other law, especially some other fundamental right, such as Freedom of Speech. Here is a compelling example of just that kind of case coming out of Canada: Are the rights of the accused violated if a witness is allowed to testify while wearing a veil? Or, put another way, can people testify in court if you can’t see their entire… Read more