Texas Polygamy Kids and Canadian Kids with Swastikas!

June 9, 2008

What in the kitty cat is the world coming to?  (My family is adopting kitty cat as the new good for all occasions swear word).

So the Texas kids were returned to their families and now this story about a kid coming to school with a swastika painted on her face.  Grounds for removal? 

When I read the headline I thought it was a tattoo (in which case I would argue yes even if the tattoo were of something less offensive — isn’t almost everything less offensive? — if it were on her face.  Make up makes it harder.  More investigation needed.  Perhaps I should head on up to Canada and find out more.  I only need a few minutes alone with the parents.

Foodgirl revisited

April 21, 2008

OK, so my email program gobbles FoodGirl’s emails to me. (I use Outlook and have “created a rule” at least 3 times, but any new ideas for rescuing her from the fate of Viagra ads and offers to share Nigerian wealth are welcome.)

Anyway — here is the accompanying image to the post about hypocrisy a few days back and it is just so good I am putting it up even if late.

He did it!

April 18, 2008

After refusing to say he would (or wouldn’t), the Pope met with victims of sexual abuse after celebrating Mass in DC today.  At the meeting, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston gave the Pope a notebook containing the names of 1,000 sexual abuse survivors in the Boston archdiocese.  No word on what the Pope’s reaction was upon reciept of this unusual gift (“awesome souvenir, thanks”–perhaps not).

No one is asking me, but I’ll say something about his homily anyway:  it was too preachy for my tastes (are you surprised?).  All about submission to God’s will, nothing about the Church’s responsibility to its flock.  No theological insights (again, no shock there) and nothing spiritually uplifting about what he said.  I think he’s the kind of speaker that does better in smaller groups, perhaps because he’s preaching a message that most people don’t really agree with . . .

“Clerical Personnel Are Not Covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act”

February 29, 2008

Those were the words opined today by Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in this ruling concerning exemptions for religious employers.  Posner distinguished the plaintiff’s ecclesiastical administration of a church from the ordinary commercial activities of a religious organization.  Under Posner’s view, employees working in the latter arena are entitled to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protections whereas the former are not.  I don’t see the rationale for a religious exception here; this is not analogous to a religious employer discriminating against non-believers in hiring/firing.  Shouldn’t clerical personnel be entitled to the same wage benefits as all other commercial employees?

Exclusive. . . you heard it here. . .

February 15, 2008

I have recently posted a new paper to SSRN (co-authored with my friends and colleagues, Bob Nelson and Ryon Lnacaster).  It still needs work (and I am happy to get comments, please).  The “exclusive” quality is that (as I have said before) it reveals the demographic characteristics of the title VII cases filed in federal courts which you cannot get unless you draw a random sample of federal court filings — we have recently completed this .  It took about 3 years and tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars . 

There is some refining of models to do (event history models versus what we have here) but the changes will not be significant as to outcomes.  So, before you click, ask yourself, “what is the most common title VII claim – race, sex, national origin, or religion?’  Also, what percentage of cases involve a claim of sexual harassment?  You can guess here or read the paper. 

 Thank you National Science Foundation, American Bar Foundation, Northwestern University, and Center for Advnaced Study.

Personal foul . . . Technical foul

February 14, 2008


Should a woman be allowed to referee a boy’s basketball game?  Not if you are St. Mary’s Academy in Topeka KS where women should not be in a position of authority over men (including boys) because of religious beliefs. 

I had an undergrad who wrote a great thesis on the religious exemptions for Title VII.  I wonder if this one will fly.  The world may never know because this woman ref doesn’t want to do anything about it.  Though her male colleagues seem interested.  Does this school have no female teachers/nuns?

hat tip:  MOM

legally risky barbecue…..

February 9, 2008


Editor’s note:  To keep things interesting, I am adding pictues to some of these posts.  Someday I hope to figure out how to put a youtube thing in there, but don’t hold your breath.  I picked this picture after google imaging roast pig which resulting in pictures that were really creepy.  On to FG:

 Holding to my promise to blog about food and law, I can’t help but post about the drama that’s been playing out in the suburb of Wheeling. A Filipino man has been ticketed for roasting pigs out-of-doors. Here’s where it gets tricky:

– They didn’t catch him in the act. He was ticketed as creating a potential fire hazard AFTER an article in the Chicago Tribune featured him in a special about lechon, a Filipino cultural/culinary tradition. A judge will decide next week whether he gets a fine.
– Another article claims that the cook has five roasters and has admitted to selling the pigs he roasts. He claimed a misunderstanding, and he was cooking for a friend.
– The roaster comes out only to provide free food for festivities at his church, not as a business venture. He claimed the five roasters were for church events, which could have up to 400 people.
– The ACLU and a local libertarian organization, have jumped on board to support the cook.

This has very much been presented as civil liberties meets health.
What is the difference is between the pig roaster he used and the number of varieties of barbecue that are currently used? – if cooking meat outside is now a crime, there’ll be a big uh-oh once this snow melts….

Headscarves & Federalism

February 4, 2008

In 2005, the “REAL ID Act of 2005,” H.R. 1268, P.L. 109-13, was attached as a rider to an emergency defense appropriations bill.  After two years of public comment, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued it’s revised regulations to enforce the REAL ID Act on January 10, 2008.  Several groups commented (pg. 125-6) that the federal REAL ID requirement of an unobscured photograph would burden the free exercise of religion for some groups like Amish Christians and Muslim women.  Not surprisingly, the new DHS regulations did not address this problem, rendering null and void any state ID with an obscured photo for religious purposes.  Read the rest of this entry »