The god problem and the American war on women

This, via the Volokh Report’s John Ross, who writes a summary of federal court decisions each week. I find him often funny. Not here:

And in en banc news: Fifth grade teacher at Catholic school needs time off to undergo surgery, chemo for breast cancer. She’s fired. A violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act? District court: No need to answer that. The First Amendment’s ministerial exception excepts the school from the ADA. Ninth Circuit (2018): She’s not a minister. The case should not have been dismissed. Judge Nelson (2019, joined by eight others), dissenting from denial of en banc review: The panel decision exhibits “the very hostility toward religion our Founders prohibited and the Supreme Court has repeatedly instructed us to avoid.”

So much that’s outrageous about this.

First, how does a religious school get an exemption from the ADA? The Americans With Disabilities Act is…what? A contradiction of holy religion? What kind of god is that?

And the holy religious school fires a teacher because she needs time off for surgery and chemo for breast cancer? And that the lower court thinks that’s OK?

Re the dissent: “the very hostility toward religion our Founders prohibited…” Where does this so-called federal judge find the prohibition to hostility toward religion?

Hm. Let’s look at that First Amendment, shall we? (Naomi takes three seconds to pull her Constitution out of the rack on her desk…)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

There’s the word “prohibiting” but as hard as I look, I can’t find any link to “hostility.”

And what about that “Supreme Court has repeatedly instructed us to avoid”? I do believe this is a dishonorable reference to the notorious Masterpiece Cakeshop case, in which SCOTUS reprimanded the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (actually one commissioner, I think) for failing to employ religious neutrality in its decision against the cake shop — which refused to make a wedding cake for two gay men. The SCOTUS decision was very narrow. They didn’t say, yes, it’s OK for you to exempt yourself from civil rights in the name of god,  nor do I think it was “repeated”; the cake shop eventually negotiated a settlement with the men and I believe it’s now out of business. (Note, that’ll happen when you thrust your “god” in the face of customers.)

So, let’s look at this judicial mediocrity and slinger of sleazy phrases, Judge Ryan Nelson, and see where he came from?

Idaho, that’s where. And of course he’s of estimable character, isn’t he?

And who put him on this significantly liberal circuit court? Oh, guess. Please. Guess.


When I started to post this and write about it, I had no idea I’d be writing this much. But I had no idea at the time that the dissenting judge was a Trump nominee and McConnell production, so to speak. So Judge Nelson is a gilt exemplar of Trump’s judicial appointments in all their magnificence.

Let us all get sick with anger.

And by the way, about McConnell. There are Democratic candidates who have announced runs against Susan Collins, Cory Gardner and Lindsey Graham. Maybe a few more, too. I’m going to start sending money to participate in the bring down McConnell movement.


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