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Symposium: A takedown of the Blaine Amendments

James Hirsen is an attorney, author, commentator and former professor at Trinity Law School. He filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Justice and Freedom Fund, Institute for Faith and Family and North Carolina School Choice in support of the petitioners in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue will shape how the First Amendment’s religion clauses apply to state and local restrictions on how public money is spent. In ...
Tags: Featured, Justice, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, United States, Missouri, House, Catholic, State, John Roberts, Roberts, Alito, Blaine, Montana Department of Revenue, Elena Kagan


Symposium: What’s “the use” of the Constitution’s distinctive treatment of religion if it is disregarded as discrimination?

Holly Hollman is general counsel for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, which submitted an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.  The Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza  v. Montana Department of Revenue purports to be “unremarkable,” particularly in light of Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, decided just three years ago. But the multiple opinions – four for the majority and three dissenting opinions – belie that assertion and demonst...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Washington, Missouri, Ohio, State, Sonia Sotomayor, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Roberts, Locke, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Davey


Thursday round-up

Court-watchers are focusing on Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, in which the court held on Tuesday that Montana’s exclusion of religious schools from a state-funded scholarship program for private schools violates the First Amendment. At Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, Ilya Somin finds it “unfortunate” that the decision was “a close 5-4 ruling, split along ideological lines with the five conservative justices in the majority, and the four liberals all dissenting,” because “[s]triking ...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, California, Planned Parenthood, Washington Post, Montana, United States, ACS, Louisiana, Jackson, ACA, Economist, Round-up, Lech, National Review


Symposium: Espinoza, funding of religious service providers, and religious freedom

Thomas Berg is the James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). Douglas Laycock is the Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia. They filed an amicus brief on behalf of a number of religious and school groups in support of the petitioners in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. Tuesday’s ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue came as no surprise. The Montana Supreme Court had invalidated a...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, University Of Virginia, Smith, Madison, Robert, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Roberts, Locke, Davey, Trinity Lutheran Church, Montana Supreme Court, Zelman


Symposium: What “play in the joints” remains after Espinoza?

Grant T. Sullivan is an assistant solicitor general with the Colorado Attorney General’s office, which filed an amicus brief on behalf of nine states in support of respondents in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and should not be imputed in whole or in part to any other state or state official unless expressly endorsed by an authorized representative of the state. For state policymakers, crafting sound (and constitutional)...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, Montana, Washington, States, Sonia Sotomayor, William Rehnquist, Locke, Davey, Montana Supreme Court, Espinoza, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stephen Breyer, Comer, Neil Gorsuch


Symposium: Clarity in an era of confusion — The Supreme Court will not tolerate hostility to religion

Mithun Mansinghani serves as solicitor general for the state of Oklahoma. Bryan Cleveland and Zach West, assistant solicitors general, also contributed to this article. The state of Oklahoma, through Attorney General Mike Hunter, led an 18-state amicus brief  in support of the petitioners in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. On one level, the Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is entirely unsurprising—a straightforward application of precedent, both lo...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Locke, Blaine, Montana Department of Revenue, Davey, Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Montana Supreme Court, Zelman, Espinoza, Comer


Wednesday round-up

Yesterday the court issued two opinions, whittling its remaining cases down to eight. In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the court held 5-4 that Montana’s exclusion of religious schools from a state-funded scholarship program for private schools violates the First Amendment. Amy Howe analyzes the opinion for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Mariam Marshedi has an analysis at Subscript Law. At NPR, Nina Totenberg and Brian Naylor report that “[t]he court’s...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Bloomberg, New York Times, Fox News, Npr, Louisiana, Wall Street Journal, Trump, Round-up, National Review, John `` Roberts, The Supreme Court, Roberts


Symposium: RIP state “Blaine Amendments” – Espinoza and the “no-aid” principle

Steven Green is the Fred H. Paulus Professor of Law and director of the Center for Religion, Law & Democracy at Willamette University College of Law. He filed an amicus brief on behalf of a number of religious groups in support of the respondents in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. There is so much contained in the various opinions in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that a college instructor could use that one case to teach an entire course about American church-state law: di...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, California, Montana, Senate, Pennsylvania, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mitchell, Thomas, U S Supreme Court, The Supreme Court, Alito, William Rehnquist, Locke


Opinion analysis: Court rules that religious schools cannot be excluded from state funding for private schools

In 2015, the Montana legislature created a scholarship program that provided a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to private scholarship organizations. Those organizations used the money to fund scholarships for children to attend private schools – which, in Montana, are primarily religious schools. In 2018, the Montana Supreme Court struck down the tax-credit program, holding that it violated the state constitution’s ban on aid for churches and religious schools. Today the U.S. Supreme ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Court, Catholic, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Institute for Justice, Stillwater, Roberts, Howe, Ginsburg


"Supreme Court says Montana program aiding private schools must be open to religious schools."

WaPo reports.Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for a conservative majority in the 5 to 4 ruling, said the Montana Supreme Court was wrong to strike down the program because of a provision in the state constitution that forbids public funds from going to religious institutions. The U.S. Constitution’s protection of religious freedom prevails, he said.“A state need not subsidize private education,” Roberts wrote. “But once a state decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private school...
Tags: Supreme Court, Education, Law, Montana, John Roberts, Roberts, WaPo, John G Roberts Jr, Montana Supreme Court, Religion And Government, Establishment Clause, Ann Althouse, Free Exercise Clause


Coronavirus Update 6–8–2020: “I was terminated for refusing to wear a ‘Trump 2020’ face mask."

Ohio requires that all employees wear face masks or other face coverings as a condition to any business reopening that (subject to a few limited exceptions). The only rules are that the mask cover the employee's nose, mouth, and chin. There are no other requirements about the nature of the mask or face covering, including its design or style. One southern Ohio business, The Village Inn restaurant in Farmersville, is testing the mask-requirement waters by requiring its employees to wear "Trump ...
Tags: Facebook, Law, Obama, Montana, Ohio, Scott, Ohio Supreme Court, Hauser, Farmersville, Jon Hyman, Village Inn, Kunkle, Kris Hauser, Jon Ohio, Q Mark Inc


"Scientists at the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Montana last month inoculated six rhesus macaque monkeys with single doses of the Oxford vaccine."

"The animals were then exposed to heavy quantities of the virus that is causing the pandemic — exposure that had consistently sickened other monkeys in the lab. But more than 28 days later all six were healthy, said Vincent Munster, the researcher who conducted the test. 'The rhesus macaque is pretty much the closest thing we have to humans,' Dr. Munster said, noting that scientists were still analyzing the result. He said he expected to share it with other scientists next week and then submit i...
Tags: Law, Montana, Names, Munster, Ann Althouse, Oxford Group, Jenner Institute, Coronavirus, Vincent Munster


Supreme Court Permits State Law Claims Against Superfund Property

In an instructive environmental law decision last week, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the federal Superfund statute (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act) does not preclude owners of adjacent contaminated land from pursuing state laws claims for money damages for nuisance, trespass and strict liability, but any cleanup of that land cannot be taken in the absence of EPA approval. Among the reasons this is a significant decision is the impact on widely utiliz...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Environmental, Epa, Christian, Brownfield, U S Supreme Court, Stuart Kaplow, Atlantic Richfield Co, Montana Supreme Court, Butte Montana, Maryland Department of the Environment, CERCLA, Codes and Regulations, Kaplow


Opinion analysis: Broad consensus on a narrow win for business in Superfund dispute

In December the Supreme Court heard oral argument in a dispute arising out of the Anaconda Smelter, which refined copper ore in southwestern Montana but also became a major polluter and, eventually, a “Superfund” site whose cleanup was supervised by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The case pits Atlantic Richfield Co., which owned the smelter when it shut down in 1980 and has spent nearly a half-billion dollars cleaning up the site following an EPA plan, against local landowners, who...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Montana, Washington, Atlantic, Epa, Environmental Protection Agency, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Roberts, Howe, Alito, Samuel Alito, Atlantic Richfield Co


Alaska Grizzly Bear Hunt with Council Alaska Safaris

Trophy Grizzly bear hunt in Alaska is on just about everyone’s dream hunt list. If you are looking for one of Northern Alaska’s best Grizzly hunting opportunities you have found it. Council Alaska Safaris is a family-owned and operated business, with every part of their business being built around quality and success.  Krist Zwerneman has twenty-five years of hunting  experience in Alaska. He is committed to you the hunter to give you the best quality hunt  you deserve. We also have summer f...
Tags: Montana, Alaska, Hunting, Aurora, Nome, Northern Alaska, Grizzly Bear, Guided Hunts, Featured Hunt, Council Alaska Safaris, Krist Zwerneman, Kigluaik Mountains, Darby Mountains, Gore Tex Please


Last of the Raiders

Lt. Col. Richard Cole was the last surviving member of the 80-man U.S. Army Air Forces Unit, forever known as, the Doolittle Raiders (Editor’s Note – To commemorate the 78th anniversary of a legendary mission, the following is an updated repost of a story with retired Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders originally published October 3, 2016 and before his death April 9, 2019, he was 103.) Standing proudly in front of a B-25 Mitchell on display f...
Tags: Japan, Texas, Congress, Australia, Navy, Montana, Washington, China, India, Raiders, History, People, Military, Veterans, Alaska, Burma


Montana Elk Hunt on the Galt Ranch with Montana Outfitters

Montana Private land Elk Hunt at the Galt Ranch famous for its world class bull elk Famous for its world class bull elk and for its animal planet TV show the, Last American Cowboy! Stay here at an iconic American Ranch in the heart of the west where cowboys still work the land today. On The Galt Ranch a well known Montana cattle ranch which is home to many elk we are not dependent on the elk migration or cold winter storms to bring the elk here. All tho they frequent different areas o...
Tags: Montana, Hunting, Elk, Elk Hunt, Guided Hunts, Featured Hunt, Montana Outfitters, Galt Ranch, Montana Elk Hunt


Montana Private land Elk Hunt, The Galt Ranch

Montana Private land Elk Hunt at the Galt Ranch famous for its world class bull elk Famous for its world class bull elk and for its animal planet TV show the, Last American Cowboy! Stay here at an iconic American Ranch in the heart of the west where cowboys still work the land today. On The Galt Ranch a well known Montana cattle ranch which is home to many elk we are not dependent on the elk migration or cold winter storms to bring the elk here. All tho they frequent different areas o...
Tags: Montana, Hunting, Elk, Elk Hunt, Guided Hunts, Featured Hunt, Montana Outfitters, Galt Ranch


Petitions of the week

This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, whether there is a categorical exception to the just compensation clause when the government takes property while acting under its police power; whether the Supreme Court’s holding that states may not “impose criminal penalties on the refusal to submit to” a warrantless blood draw in Birchfield v. North Dakota is substantive and therefore applies retroactively; and whether the confrontation clause...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Pennsylvania, United States, North Dakota, Alaska, Evans, Bp, Jackson, Johnson, Illinois, Naacp, DOE, Lech, Morrison


Latest BOP numbers with still more COVID cases, and more prisoner deaths, at still more federal facilities

This post from last Monday noted that the data set forth on BOP's COVID-19 Update page in the early evening of April 6 reported 196 inmates and 63 staffers positive for COVID-19.  Though not then reported by BOP, there were I believe five or six official prisoner deaths as of this time last week.  Now, just a week later, here is the BOP's official accounting: As of 04/13/2020, there are 388 federal inmates and 201 BOP staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide.  Curr...
Tags: Law, Montana, Singapore, US, West Virginia, Qatar, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, Slovakia, Bop, Douglas A Berman, Worldometer


More headlines provide more windows on the intersection of incarceration and the coronavirus

I now feel almost compelled to do a new post every day with the latest headlines on the coronavirus infecting prisoners and staffers.  Today's round up of stories will include a few headlines that also compel a bit of extra commentary: Colorado: " 22 inmates at Denver’s two jails under observation after showing coronavirus symptoms, none have been tested" Georgia: "Three inmates test positive for coronavirus in Georgia as concerns grow over unprepared prison system" Massachusetts: "First corona...
Tags: New York, Law, Colorado, Montana, Massachusetts, Georgia, Aclu, Denver, Erie County, Yellowstone County, Douglas A Berman, COVID


"The Biden 2020 campaign isn’t about following its nominal leader, or even listening to him; it’s about the party pushing him over the line collectively..."

"... and about making plans to give him the necessary support once he’s in office, as Booker’s endorsing statement alluded to in references to 'winning races up and down the ballot' and thinking of a presidential victory as the 'floor' rather than the 'ceiling' of Democratic Party potential. Biden’s sudden viability coincided with popular Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s announcement that, after fending off months of entreaties to enter his state’s Senate race, he will go ahead and attemp...
Tags: Law, Montana, Senate, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Maine, Arizona, Biden, Booker, Joe, Democratic Party, Steve Bullock, Cory Booker, Mark Kelly, Ann Althouse, 2020 Elections


Tuesday round-up

Briefly: At HuffPost, Daniel Marans notes that “[e]xpanding the Supreme Court, an increasingly popular reform among some progressive activists, is not politically costly for Democrats, according to an academic survey commissioned by a group that supports the idea.” Veronica Stracqualursi reports at CNN that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week “reiterated his position that the GOP-led Senate would confirm a nominee to any Supreme Court vacancy that occurred this election year, despi...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Senate, Barack Obama, Cnn, Gop, United States, New York Times, Mitch McConnell, Vox, Round-up, The Supreme Court, Ian Millhiser, Montana Department of Revenue, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


You know I think Biden's new anti-Buttigieg ad is homophobic...

... because I said so in this post yesterday.Now, here's The Daily Wire collecting other statements to the same effect:National Review Washington Correspondent John McCormack noted: “‘colorful lights…’ ‘decorative brick…’ If a Republican released this ad…”...Popular Twitter account Comfortably Smug wrote: “This whole ad is a homophobic dog whistle: decorative sidewalks and lights and pet adoption? Discomfort with African Americans? WHAT IS BIDEN SAYING?”ADDED: This post got my "homophobia politi...
Tags: Law, Montana, Washington, Mitt Romney, Scott Walker, Republican, Biden, Michele Bachmann, National Review, John Roberts, Eric Cantor, Buttigieg, Ann Althouse, John McCormack, Pete Buttigieg, Homophobia Politics


Thursday round-up

Briefly: At CNN, Joan Biskupic argues that “Chief Justice John Roberts’ legacy will be forever entwined with President Donald Trump’s,” not only because “Roberts was in the chair presiding over the two-week hearing and historic vote on Wednesday to acquit Trump” but also because the chief “now faces unprecedented litigation at the Supreme Court involving the President’s personal business dealings.” At the Harvard Law Review Blog, Aaron Tang suggests that there is an issue lurking in Espinoza v....
Tags: Amazon, Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Montana, Cnn, United States, South Dakota, House, Donald Trump, Trump, Round-up, John Roberts, Wayfair, Roberts


Montana Legislator Will Shoot Socialists In The Head As Mandated By The Constitution

Three guesses which party had to issue an apology Friday night.
Tags: Law, Montana, Government, Socialism, Constitutional Law, Elizabeth Dye, Rodney Garcia


Monday round-up

The second week of proceedings in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump concluded last week. At CNN, Joan Biskupic contends that Chief Justice John Roberts, used to “the heavy mantle of public expectations in his role at the middle of an ideologically divided bench,” has thus far “served as a careful steward of Senate procedures and ensured that the impeachment trial did not descend into nastiness.” John Kruzel at The Hill concludes similarly: “Court watchers said that approach ...
Tags: New York, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Senate, Court, Bloomberg, Cnn, Vox, Donald Trump, Gore, Trump, Round-up, Bush, John Roberts, Tom Steyer


Friday round-up

At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps looks at the story behind a state constitutional provision relied on by Montana in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue to invalidate a tax-credit program benefiting families who send their children to private schools, including religious schools, contending that “to strike down part of a state constitution because of this history raises disturbing questions.” Additional commentary comes from Holly Holman in an op-ed at The Hill, who argues that “[o]ur country’...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Montana, Cnn, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Department Of Homeland Security, University Of California, Wall Street Journal, Trump, Round-up, Peter, National Review, Newsweek, The Hill


Hunting Montana, key dates for planning your hunts

Hunting Montana A few basic things you need to know, when planning your next Montana Big Game adventure. Keep in mind rules and regulations change from year to year but here are a few dates and rules to be aware of and may want to confirm each year when making serious plans to bag that once in a lifetime animal. When planning an outfitted hunt be sure to talk with your outfitter before buying your Licenses and tags some outfitters like to do this process with you to insure all pa...
Tags: Montana, Turkey, Stories, Hunting, Deer, Lion, Moose, Dates, Hunt, Antelope, Elk, Black Bear, Dept of Justice, Tips and Information, Federal Welfare Reform Law Nonresidents


The Chief Justice may have to decide whether to break a 50-50 tie on the issue of having witnesses testify at the Senate trial.

I'm reading "Senate and John Roberts face possibility of epic tie on witnesses" (Politico) and wondering which way the Chief would go.Must a tie be broken? No. Under the Senate's rules, nothing happens if there is no vote in favor of it. The Republicans win if the Democrats fail to amass 51 votes.For weeks, Republicans and Democrats alike have been confident that Roberts would not break a tie vote during Trump’s impeachment trial, citing past precedent, the Constitution and their own gut feeling...
Tags: Minnesota, Law, Republicans, Colorado, Montana, Senate, Alabama, West Virginia, Gop, Hawaii, Tennessee, House, Arizona, Amy Klobuchar, Michigan, Jones



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