I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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BlogRoll

Justice Sotomayor: “Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word. Not so today.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, a religious organization employer that wishes to be exempt from the requirement to provide contraceptives need only fill out a form that notifies the government and the insurer that they are not going to pay for contraceptives, so the insurer can ensure that employees get such coverage. The form is [...]

RFRAs, the Establishment Clause, and Land Use Regulation (no! seriously!)

I’ve been giving a lot of thought about Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), state and federal, since this Spring (with the passage of Mississippi’s own such act) and this week (with the Hobby Lobby case using the federal act).

Recall that we were told that the state act was fine because the federal act was fine.

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A criticism of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as applied to the states

The more I think about this, the more I think passage of the state version of RFRA this Spring was a very dumb move.

There’s this:  The case I’m quoting below, Bourne, involved a church challenging a city’s historic preservation ordinance on the grounds that it was an indirect burden on their exercise of religion.

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SCOTUS blog: Post-Hobby Lobby orders lists suggests that employers can object to all forms of birth control

Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS blog reports:

The Supreme Court sent a fairly strong signal on Tuesday that its ruling giving some for-profit businesses a right not to provide birth control services to their female workers goes beyond the specific methods at issue in that decision.  It issued a series of orders on six cases, each of [...]

Kingfish has a memo for the state Republican party outlining the steps up to a contest

Previously, I posted describing the process for a contest.  There’s a useful memo from state Republican party chair and counsel outlining the process up to that contest (which will play out in the next few weeks) that has been posted at Jackson Jambalaya.

To sum the memo up:  Yesterday or before 2PM today, each [...]

Hobby Lobby and Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (including the one in Mississippi)

I have read most of Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in the Hobby Lobby case and some of the majority opinion, and the upshot seem to be this:  When Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it made clear its intent to overturn a couple of United States Supreme Court cases.  But, Justice Ginsburg argues, what the majority [...]

Mississippi Supreme Court’s opinion in Carrothers v. State: Important case on experts & reliability of eyewitnesses

On Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court released an important decision in Carothers v. State, the core of which involved the admissibility of an expert witness the defendant offered on the science of the unreliability of eyewitness identification testimony.  The majority opinion, by Chandler, rejects admission largely on the theory that the expert did not observe the [...]

Let’s take a look at the old book: What the Election Code actually says

Chapter 15 of title 23 of the Mississippi Code covers election contests, and has some pretty concrete answers to some of the things folks (including me) have been saying. Just for instance, I said from memory that there was no deadline for the contest, forgetting that this had been changed in 2012; there’s a [...]

Michelle Byrom: Miss. Supreme Court denies Attorney General’s request for an explanation

Recall that, in the last round, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed Michelle Byrom’s conviction; it seemed fairly clear that the reversal was because there was a relevant confession that pointed toward Michell Byrom’s innocence, and that this confession was never disclosed to the defense lawyers.

The Attorney General responded by, more or less, demanding [...]

A couple of observations on part of what is outrageous about the Madison County cases….

These charges about these cases about the invasion of Rose Cochran’s privacy are outrageous.  The degree to which they charge outrageous conduct makes one aspect of this mess easy to ignore:  that bonds being imposed in these cases are outrageous.  A bond is supposed to be the amount needed to assure the defendant will [...]