pageok
pageok
pageok
Religious Accommodations and Eagle Protection Law:

Judge Michael McConnell, one of the nation's leading scholars of church-state and religious freedom law, has just written a characteristically thoughtful opinion on the subject. Much worth reading if you're interested in American religious accommodation law and how it plays out in practice. Thanks to How Appealing for the pointer.

wuzzagrunt (mail):
The appeals court ruled that American Indians' religious freedoms are not violated by federal law protecting eagles or the government's policy requiring American Indians to get permits to kill the birds.

If there actually are permits available, then the religious practice is being accommodated. No?

Actually, raptors (in general) are over protected. Their populations don't necessarily justify the level of protection they receive. It's almost as if they've become objects of worship for the new age, secular religion of environmentalism.
5.9.2008 11:26am
Randy R. (mail):
How ironic to complain about enviros lifting a bird to the level of worship, when in fact there is already a religion that worships them.

I would be willing to say, however, that getting rid of environmental laws has recently become itself an object of worship among certain conservatives, and destroying the environment and habitats has become a secular religion for them, don't you agree?
5.9.2008 11:33am
Falafalafocus (mail):

I would be willing to say, however, that getting rid of environmental laws has recently become itself an object of worship among certain conservatives, and destroying the environment and habitats has become a secular religion for them, don't you agree?

Personally, destroying the environment is my personal religous mission than a religion in and of itself. But that's just me.

In any event, you may have still have won the thread with your first thought.
5.9.2008 11:42am
Jiminy (mail):
My whole take on the environmental/green debate - if you strongly dislike those environmental lobbyists who used the same channels set up by conservatives to gain access to lawmakers, why not provide more compelling science that exposes the scientific bias or a counter-study that would argue against protecting eagles or whatever the cause of heartburn is.

I don't hear much on that angle. I hear more like the talk-wing yelling or screed against the new hippies. The screed takes that same strident annoying debate-and-conversation-ending tone that a loudmouth "green" will use to get in your face.


Please give me a little more science and a little less screaming. I'm happy to read summaries that have footnotes and keep my mind open about the different ideas out there. I'm no expert, so I have to rely on experts to educate me about the right way and wrong way to fix an issue.

Religion has done enough harm to human advancement; I don't need a new Earth-mother or Hippie-hate flavor to go with the other available flavors of stupidity that are already on the menu.
5.9.2008 11:57am
alias:
That's one of the most readable 44-pagers I've seen.
5.9.2008 11:59am
U.Va. 3L:
Cool! I wrote a paper on Friday for an Indian Law short course back when the case was at the district court level. I'll have to read the full opinion when I get a chance.
5.9.2008 12:23pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
Oh come on, save the whales, collect the entire set!
5.9.2008 1:36pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Good opinion. McConnell's reasoning would also extend, of course, to claims by the Catholic Church and by FLDS that child abuse in the name of religion receives legal protection.
5.9.2008 2:27pm
Sean M:
Note the cite to a Eugene Volokh article at 21 in the slip op.
5.9.2008 2:32pm
Dave N (mail):
Dilan,

Can you point to any credible source that the Catholic Church has claimed a religious exemption in the abuse scandals?

Sean,

I noted the Volokh cite, too--and that Eugene was too modest to mention it himself.
5.9.2008 3:25pm
Arkady:
@Dave N


Can you point to any credible source that the Catholic Church has claimed a religious exemption in the abuse scandals?


Well, there was this:


Cardinal McCarrick Decries Maryland Child Abuse Bill

Cardinal Questions Effect on Confessional

By Jo Becker and Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, February 22, 2003


Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick is taking aim at the Maryland General Assembly, charging that a legislative proposal that would require priests to report suspected child abuse would violate the sanctity of the confessional.

"If this bill were to pass, I shall instruct all priests in the Archdiocese of Washington who serve in Maryland to ignore it," McCarrick wrote in a column in the latest issue of the Catholic Standard. " . . . On this issue, I will gladly plead civil disobedience and willingly — if not gladly — go to jail."



link

That's asking for (claiming) some kind of exemption for religious reasons as far as reporting abuse goes, no?
5.9.2008 4:57pm
Dave N (mail):
Arkady,

Thank you for the link. And I am not trying to hijack the thread. But I was responding specifically to Dilan Esper's contention that someone within the Catholic Church has argued that "child abuse in the name of religion receives legal protection." Your quote goes to what a priest must report after hearing a confession--not any effort by the Catholic Church to somehow argue that "abuse in the name if religion" is protected.
5.9.2008 5:08pm
General Disarray:
Arkady,

Well, no. Based upon the text that you yourself provided, Cardinal McCarrick doesn't seem to be claiming that the proposed law would be unconstitutional, or otherwise legally invalid; he's simply saying that that Catholic priests would have a religious duty not to comply with it. Refusing to comply with a law is not tantamount to claiming an exemption from it.
5.9.2008 5:13pm
darelf:
Don't be obtuse, General.

However, it's different from claiming that the abuse itself should be protected. I can see how one might see the silence or non-reporting as being complicit in the commission.... though I see it as a bit of a stretch. It's a very old debate about the priest's confidence.
5.9.2008 5:22pm
General Disarray:
What's obtuse about refusing to twist words in order to give them unnatural meanings? "I'm exempt from that law" (which seems to imply that the law would be invalid as applied to the speaker) and "I'd rather go to jail than comply with that law" (which seems to imply that the law is valid but, in the speaker's view, unjust) are distinctly different claims.
5.9.2008 5:30pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Randy R. wrote:

How ironic to complain about enviros lifting a bird to the level of worship, when in fact there is already a religion that worships them.

I would be willing to say, however, that getting rid of environmental laws has recently become itself an object of worship among certain conservatives, and destroying the environment and habitats has become a secular religion for them, don't you agree?

You made my point better than I ever could have.
5.10.2008 10:49am
ReaderY:
If the officer had seen him attempting to take the bald eagle, would he have been justified in shooting him to prevent it?

If not, I don't see how the interest is compelling.

At one, point, a compelling state interest meant one and only one thing: the survival of the state or loss of human life on a mass scale was implicated by a threat on the order of war, epidemic, or natural disaster. A compelling interest justifies shooting people on sight, jailing without trial, violating any fundamental right. At one point, courts took care to limit the situations where constitutional rights could be eroded to only the severest threats based on the most objective of criteria.

Today, a "compelling state interest" seems to mean little more than something the judge happens to think is important.

Hand in hand with the expansion of textual rights to include anything a judge thinks important is the expansion of limitations on textual rights to include anything a judge thinks important. At some point, what the text says ceases to matter at all - what the judge thinks is the only thing that matters. The constitution stops offering any protection that a judge is bound to respect.
5.11.2008 12:10am
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Dave N.:

Here's a compendium of some of the free exercise clause-based nonexistent privileges claimed by my hometown diocese to try and avoid legal accountability for sex abuse:

http://www.cwnews.com/offtherecord/
offtherecord.cfm?task=singledisplay&recnum=3968
5.11.2008 8:26pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
IMO we have gone too far in granting aboriginal rights. The Makah Indian tribe of Washington state was allowed to resume whaling. No living member of the tribe had hunted whales before. New England has a strong whaling heritage -- what if some New England yahoos asked for permission to resume whaling?
5.12.2008 3:05am