Local Gov’ts Must Note Lessons In Religious Exception Ruling

Bizar Male
Law360 (June 23, 2021, 1:35 PM EDT) — On June 17, in Sharonell Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the city of Philadelphia violated the free exercise clause when it terminated its contract with Catholic Social Services because the foster care agency refused to certify same-sex couples as foster care families.

The decision marks a noteworthy change in the free exercise doctrine that has governed since the Supreme Court’s 1990 ruling in Employment Division v. Smith, and may or may not signal the beginning of the end of Smith.

State and local governments, and the lawyers who advise them, should take careful note…

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