Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Supreme Court Denies Review In Two Cases of Interest

The U.S. Supreme Court denied review yesterday (order list) in two cases of interest. It denied certiorari in Archdiocese of Washington v. Moersen, (Case No. 07-323). The Maryland court of Appeals below had held that a Catholic church organist could pursue a Title VII employment discrimination claim, finding that his job position was not covered by the "ministerial exception" to Title VII. (See prior posting.)

The Court also denied a petition for a writ of mandamus and/or prohibition in In re Westboro Baptist Church, Inc., (Case No. 07-626). The unusual petition to the Court was filed by the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church and its leaders. They were seeking to overturn a $10.9 million federal jury verdict awarded to the father of a deceased Marine whose funeral was picketed by Westboro members. (See prior posting.) Apparently the damage award has not deterred Westboro members. Yesterday's Arlington Heights (IL) Daily Herald reported that three members of the church showed up to picket two different funerals for victims of last week's shooting at Northern Illinois University. [Thanks to Steve Sheinberg for the lead.]