Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Challenge To A.A. Requirerment In Probationary Massage License Survives Motion To Dismiss

In Sundquist v. State of Nebraska, (D NE, Aug. 10, 2015), plaintiff Marvin Sundquist who held a probationary license to practice massage therapy in Nebraska challenged the constitutionality of a requirement that he attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in order to keep his probationary license.  He claimed religious objections to AA which has substantial religious components in it.  His licensing probation compliance monitor refused his proposed secular alternative.  A Nebraska federal district court held:
In sum, the Court finds that Sundquist has alleged a plausible claim under the Establishment Clause, and that defendants Vierk and Schuldt are not entitled to qualified immunity. It remains to be seen, of course, whether Sundquist can actually prove his claim and prove that he suffered actual damages—but he should have the opportunity to do so.