MP900289067This article was originally published in July 2016.  The information has been reviewed and is up-to-date as of February 2024.

Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism are typically cited as the major religions of the world, although there are many others that have tens of millions of adherents or more.  The United States has no

In a much-publicized congressional hearing on December 5, 2023, the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania faced pointed questions by the House Education and Workforce Committee regarding antisemitism on college campuses. Several exchanges—and public debate thereafter—focused on whether certain violent or politically-charged speech would violate the universities’ Code of Conduct, particularly the

With the approaching election year, we can anticipate a high level of political activity from the public to support their views of what should be the country’s future.  No doubt, at times this political activity will encroach on the workplace, and for public agency employers, this can create unique problems.  State statutes and agency rules

Last week, on October 31, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument in two important cases concerning the First Amendment and government agencies.  Both cases present the question of when and how First Amendment free speech standards apply to government officials in curating public comments on their social media pages.  

The cases are O’Connor-Ratcliff

Social media sites have become the new “public square” where individuals share opinions and information about all types of political and societal events.  Public sector employees, as much as anyone else, use social media to post viewpoints and to participate in public debate.  Problems arise, however, when a public employee posts harsh, derogatory, defamatory, or

When does a City create a public forum for speech under the First Amendment?  When can a City restrict which flags fly on a City flagpoles?  When can a City limit religious speech under the First Amendment?  The United States Supreme Court addressed these questions in its unanimous decision in Shurtleff v. City of Boston

In June 2021, the Supreme Court declined an invitation to overturn Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, its seminal 1990 case holding that a facially neutral and generally applicable law survives a challenge under the Free Exercise Clause if it is rationally related to a legitimate government interest.  However, the

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution includes both an establishment clause and a free exercise clause.  Of these, the free exercise clause is often invoked in the employment context to challenge employer policies that, while facially neutral and generally applicable, incidentally burden religion.

In Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v.