1. A messy decision, ripe for the Supreme Court
Bronx Household of Faith wanted to rent space for Sunday morning worship at Public School 15 in New York City. The city refused, saying allowing church services would suggest endorsement of that church. Like many cases of this kind, it's had a long, messy history in the court system. Monday, it got messier. The three judges on the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals each reached very different conclusions.
"Our disparate views of this case leave us without a rationale to which a majority of the court agrees. While two judges who disagree on the merits believe the dispute is ripe for adjudication, the court cannot decide the merits of the case without the vote of the third judge, who disagrees as to ripeness," the court ruled.
The fractured judgment "could provide the U.S. Supreme Court with its next big establishment clause case," The New York Sun concluded. "The case likely prompted such division because of the question, more theological than legal, at its center: What is worship?"
In its 2001 case Good News Club v. Milford Central School, the court said a school district couldn't discriminate against an extracurricular Christian club if it allowed other extracurricular clubs. But "the federal high court appeared to draw a distinction between religiously oriented lessons and outright worship," the Sun notes, so Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York would allow the Supreme Court to go into more detail on what's acceptable.
2. Sheldon Jackson College suspends operations
The Presbyterian college in Sitka, Alaska, is $6 million in debt, so it has suspended operations for a year "to determine a financially viable future."
3. European Court of Human Rights ...1