Sunday, August 29, 2010

Court Rejects Free Exercise and Establishment Clause Challenges To Domestic Violence Laws

In Currie v. Michigan, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85804 (ED MI, Aug. 20, 2010), a Michigan federal district court dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state's domestic violence laws on free exercise grounds.  In a complaint described by the court as "nearly unintelligible," plaintiff contended that he was "convicted ... of a crime he didn't commit as corporal punishment and many other forms of disciplinary measures are demanded by the Christian God in the rearing of a child." The court also rejected an establishment clause challenge to mandatory domestic violence counseling sessions. Plaintiff claimed that the counselling sessions were "devised to reshape, alter, reform and prohibit the Plaintiff's religious beliefs."