A major legal case is coming up next month. In December, the Supreme Court of the United States will decide on a key law relating to civil rights. It is known as Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
There are two issues at play here. One is the need for civil rights laws to protect the rights of all couples, regardless of orientation. Another is the right of businesses to choose which customers they want to serve. Which right is more important? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 decided that it is more important to protect civil rights than it is to let people choose who they want to hire. Will the Supreme Court decide that the same applies when it comes to businesses choosing their customers?
Another issue at play here is religious freedom. Do the store owner’s religious beliefs come into play here, and are they more important than protecting civil rights?
In a previous case, the Supreme Court, led by Justice Antonin Scalia, ruled against Native Americans who brought a lawsuit against the state of Oregon. It had to do with their religious ceremonies. The Supreme Court ruled that since the thing that they were not allowed to do was not based on religious discrimination, meaning that the law to prohibit it was neutral and not motivated by any religious factors, the Native Americans could not claim religious discrimination. It is possible that the Supreme Court will decide the same here, meaning that the civil rights laws are not motivated by any religious factors and are simply neutral. Therefore, it cannot be said that religious beliefs are being violated.
Another issue at stake here is whether compelling someone to bake a cake would be compelled speech, which is a violation of the First Amendment which guarantees the freedom of expression, meaning that you can choose to not say something as well.
A lawsuit by an Oxford University graduate is underway in London’s High Court. Former student Faiz Siddiqui alleges that when he graduated from Oxford he earned a less-desirable degree as a result of poor teaching and faculty negligence. According to Siddiqui’s suit, his low grades prevented him from attending law school at Yale University and damaged his burgeoning legal career.
Siddiqui enrolled at Brasenose College, Oxford in 1997 and began to study modern history. Like many Oxford students, he hoped to earn a first class honors degree from the school. However, after taking his final exams in 2000, Siddiqui discovered that he had instead received an upper second class bachelor of arts honors degree.
Siddiqui’s lawsuit alleges that poor teaching and low faculty numbers were responsible for his depressed grades. In his suit, he claims that teachers were overworked and inadequately prepared to deal with an increased number of students. According to Siddiqui, many of the college’s teachers were on sabbatical, leaving only one tutor to assist students with the Indian special subject portion of the exams. The lawsuit alleges that this tutor was in charge of twice the number of students that college tutors typically supervise. Siddiqui also cites another student from his class who submitted complaints to the university after she received low grades on the same exams. Furthermore, Siddiqui claims that the university failed to take a medical condition into account when grading his exams; his doctors had diagnosed him with severe hay fever, a condition which they said would affect his concentration.
Siddiqui claims that his second-class decree from Oxford left him depressed and unable to sleep. He states that as a result of these emotional problems, he performed poorly in his duties at several different jobs he has held over the years and eventually became unemployed. He is suing Oxford University for a total of $1.3 million. As part of his suit, Siddiqui is also seeking restitution for lost earnings.
In recent legal news, a judge in Washington has given a victory to President Donald Trump. After the resignation of the previous director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, President Donald Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney as the new director. However, the deputy director, Leandra English, filed a lawsuit in order to get a restraining order to prevent Mick Mulvaney from taking charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Leandra English claimed that she was the rightful director and that she should have taken over after the previous director resigned.
Judge Timothy Kelly refused the restraining order on Tuesday morning. He said that there is a very small likelihood that the case would be able to proceed based on its merits. Leandra English argued that the Dodd-Frank Act made her the rightful director. However, Judge Timothy Kelly said that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act seems to apply to this situation. The Federal Vacancies Reform Act would give President Donald Trump the ability to appoint a new director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Mick Mulvaney is the head of the Office of Management and Budgets. However, Judge Kelly said that there is nothing that would prevent him from heading both departments. In addition, he added that denying Donald Trump the ability to appoint Mick Mulvaney as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would raise significant constitutional issues.
The Dodd-Frank Act says that the deputy shall serve as acting director in the absence or unavailability of the director. However, the Department of Justice said that the Dodd-Frank Act does not replace the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which gives the president the ability to temporarily appoint a director of an agency that is subject to Senate confirmation. In other words, either one of those acts can be invoked. Leandrea English is considering her steps and may seek an injunction against the ruling.