Thursday, July 15, 2010

Court Rejects Religious Challenge To Social Security Numbers

In Hill v. Promise Hospital of Phoenix, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68884 (D AZ, July 7, 2010), an Arizona federal district court rejected plaintiff's complaints about federal laws that require him to provide a potential employer with a social security number. He says that defendant hospital refused to hire him because he would not comply with that requirement. Plaintiff claims that a social security number is an asset of a state-sponsored religion in violation of the Establishment Clause, and that a social security number is the "mark of the beast," the forced use of which violates his right to privacy. In the lawsuit, plaintiff sought to enjoin the federal government from enforcing the laws that require use of a social security number. The court dismissed those claims on sovereign immunity grounds. Insofar as they were based on a religious discrimination claim under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the court found that the federal government's actions did not interfere with plaintiff's employment opportunities. Also plaintiff failed to sue within 90 days after receiving a right to sue letter from the EEOC. Additionally the court concluded that granting relief would involve the interfering with the collection of taxes in violation of the federal Anti-Injunction Act.

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