Friday, May 02, 2014

Chaplain's Complaint Over Actions During Government Shutdown Dismissed As Moot

In Leonard v. United States Department of Defense, (D DC, April 30, 2014), the D.C. federal district court dismissed as moot claims by Catholic Navy chaplain Father Ray Leonard that his free exercise and RFRA rights were infringed when military authorities prevented him from performing his ecclesiastical duties during last year's government shutdown. The government asserted that this was required by the Anti-Deficiency Act, 31 U.S.C. § 1342, even if performed voluntarily. However, one day after this suit was filed, the government informed Father Leonard that he and other chaplains would be permitted to continue working during the shutdown and would be paid when funds later became available. The court similarly dismissed Leonard' retaliation claim because he is suffering no ongoing injury. (See prior related posting.)