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

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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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 [...]

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 [...]

Mississippi Constitution has the anti-gay marriage provision right where the prohibition against interracial marriage was

Section 263 of the Mississippi Constitution used to prohibit interracial marriage.  While this was declared unconstitutional by Loving v. Virginia in 1967, the voters and legislature of Mississippi finally got around to repealing it in 1987.

And what went into that vacancy? Section 263A of the constitution now sits right behind the space 263 used to [...]

Don’t read the fine print! Call up and ask if the price includes the filing fee.

From today’s Tupelo Daily Journal. And, before you ask: No relation, I’m sure.

Gov. Bryant signs bill protecting peyote eaters and rejecting Scalia opinion to the contrary

In 1990, the United States Supreme Court decided Employment Division v. Smith.  In that case, individuals were denied unemployment benefits because they were fired for eating peyote.  In an opinion by conservative justice Antonin Scalia, the United States Supreme Court held: Of course you can deny unemployment benefits to people fired for eating peyote.

While [...]