U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney granted summary judgment after a bench trial to Country Mill Farms (CMF) and its owner, Stephen Tennes, in their First Amendment Free Exercise lawsuit against the City of East Lansing, Michigan, which excluded CMF from the East Lansing Farmers Market (ELFM) because the company’s wedding hosting business was closed to same-sex couples. Country Mill Farms, LLC v. City of East Lansing, 2023 WL 5345236, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … <Read More>
Shortly after the end of Donald Trump’s Administration, a group of his top officials formed a new organization intended to challenge attempts by the Biden Administration to change Trump’s policies. With Stephen Miller, White House counselor and the evil genius behind many of Trump’s policies, as its president and board chair, America First Legal Foundation boasts as board members former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, and former Director of … <Read More>
In 2014, after federal courts ruled that North Carolina had to allow same-sex couples to marry, Lonnie Billard and his long-time partner Richard Donham decided to marry and Billard posted an exuberant announcement on his Facebook page for his friends only. He ended that announcement by stating, “If you don’t agree with this. . . keep it to yourself. You never asked my opinion about your personal life and I am not asking yours.”
Among … <Read More>
Senior U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan has dismissed constitutional challenges to Washington State’s Conversion Therapy ban (codified in Wash. Rev. Code Sections 18.130.20 and 18.130.180) brought by Brian Tingley, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, who asserted a violation of his free speech and free exercise of religion rights, as well as alleging a violation of due process. Tingley v. Ferguson, 2021 WL 3861657, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164063 (W.D. Wash., Aug. 30, … <Read More>
U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson ruled on December 16 that Ohio’s refusal to issue corrected birth certificates for transgender people violates the United States Constitution. Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union sued state officials on behalf of four transgender plaintiffs whose attempts to get their birth certificates changed to correctly identify their gender had been thwarted. Ray v. McCloud, Case No. 2:18-cv-272 (S.D. Ohio).
At the time Lambda sued two years ago, … <Read More>
A U.S. District Judge in Georgia issued a ruling on August 27 that a married male couple’s daughter, conceived through donor insemination from a donated egg with an English woman serving as gestational surrogate, should be deemed a natural-born U.S. citizen and entitled to a passport over the objections of the State Department. The complication in this case is that the spouse whose sperm was used was not a U.S. citizen at the time, although … <Read More>
On March 11, U.S District Judge Loretta C. Biggs denied the state’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal claiming that the State Health Plan’s categorical exclusion of coverage for treatment sought “in conjunction with proposed gender transformation” or “in connection with sex changes or modifications” violates the Equal Protection Clause, Title IX, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Kadel v. Folwell, 2020 WL 1169271, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42586 … <Read More>
The U.S. Supreme Court announced on February 24 that it will review a 2019 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, in which that court rejected 1st Amendment claims by the Catholic Social Services agency in Philadelphia that lost its foster services contract with the City by insisting it would refuse to provide services to same-sex couples. The unanimous appeals court decision affirmed a ruling by U.S. District Judge … <Read More>
On Friday, February 7, US District Judge Marsha Pechman issued yet another in a series of Orders on discovery in Karnoski v. Trump, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21813 (W.D. Wash.), one of the four challenges to the constitutionality of Trump’s transgender military service ban in its current incarnation, referred to as the Mattis Plan.
Pechman, backed up by a 9th Circuit panel, has determined that the ban discriminates based on gender identity and is subject … <Read More>
U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer issued an extraordinarily lengthy opinion on November 6, concluding that a regulation adopted by the Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intended to protect from discrimination employees in the health care industry who refused to provide services because of their religious beliefs is invalid. The case is State of New York v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2019 WL 5781789, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … <Read More>