:: welcome to


:: A constitutional law blog by Scalia/Thomas fan David M. Wagner, M.A., J.D., Research Fellow, National Legal Foundation, and Teacher, Veritas Preparatory Academy. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect those of the NLF or Veritas. :: bloghome | E-mail me ::

-- Eve Tushnet

"Frankfurter was born too soon for the Web, but I'm sure that, had it been possible, there would have been the equivalent of Ninomania for Frankfurter."
-- Mark Tushnet
(I agree, and commented here.)

"The preeminent Scalia blog"
-- Underneath Their Robes

 Subscribe in a reader

Site Feed

Also please visit my opera blog, Box Five!

    follow me on Twitter


    Above the Law, by David Lat



    Duncan's Con Law Course Blog

    Eve Tushnet

    Eye of Polyphemus, by Jamie Jeffords

    How Appealing

    Hugh Hewitt

    Justice Thomas Appreciation Page

    Legal Theory Blog

    Lex Communis

    Opinio Juris


    Paper Chase (from JURIST)

    Point of Law (Manhattan Inst.)

    Professor Bainbridge

    Public Discourse

    Redeeming Law, by Prof. Mike Schutt

    SCOTUS Blog

    Volokh Conspiracy

    WSJ Law Blog

    Other fine sites:

    Alexander Hamilton Inst. for Study of Western Civilization

    Ave Maria School of Law

    Center for Thomas More Studies

    Family Defense Center

    The Federalist Society

    The Founders' Constitution

    George Mason University School of Law

    Immigration and Refugee Appellate Center

    Judged: Law Firm News & Intelligence


    Law Prose (Bryan Garner)

    Liberty Library of Constitutional Classics

    National Lawyers Association (alternative to ABA)

    Supreme Court decisions

    The Weekly Standard

    Something I wrote about marriage

    lawyer blogs


    :: Monday, March 29, 2010 ::
    Daily Telegraph (London): Senior bishops call for end to persecution of Christians in Britain.

    One case in particular is highlighted (though many are cited) in the Anglican Bishops' letter: that of Nurse Shirley Chaplin, who has been told to stop wearing her cross-necklace at her job at the NHS, after wearing for 38 years. She is taking her case to an employment tribunal, arguing inter alia that Muslim employees at the NHS are allowed to wear headscarves.

    According to the Telegraph:
    While the trust refused to grant her an exemption, it makes concessions for other faiths, including allowing Muslim nurses to wear headscarves on duty....

    The bishops said that it was “deeply disturbing” that the NHS trust’s uniform policy permits exemptions for religious clothing, but appears to regard the cross as “just an item of jewellery.”

    They also expressed surprise that the court has asked for evidence to be submitted to verify that Christians wear crosses visibly around their neck.

    What the court is going after is pretty obvious, I'd say: it is seeking grounds for distinguishing the Muslim's headscarf from Nurse Chaplin's cross, on the grounds that the headscarf is required by the Muslim woman's religion, while the cross is not required by that of Ms. Chaplin. Many Muslim authorities would say women must wear (at least) a headscarf; few if any Christian authorities would say that wearing a cross is required.

    Now it's problematic enough if the court is going to rule against Nurse Chaplin on a required/optional distinction: in the U.S., anyway, we don't like secular courts ruling on what's required and what isn't by different religions. (As the recent Jewish day-school case shows, Britain, cradle of liberty, has apparently ceased to be averse to this at all.)

    But if the required/optional distinction holds, there will be interesting consequences. As the Telegraph story indicates, among the complaints are those of Christian teachers who face being forced to teach sexual ethics they believe are radically wrong. A Christian may be able to put aside a cross-necklace without violating her conscience (though where the state gets the authority to tell her to is more than I can say); she cannot, without violating her conscience, tell kids that sex in middle school is just fine.

    Most likely the required/optional distinction will be good for this date and train only, and when the time comes, some way will be found to hold that Christians exercising their religious liberty are thereby violating that of others, and so they have to stop, now....

    :: David M. Wagner 4:12 PM [+] ::

    Site Meter
    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?