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Sevcik v. Sandoval / Jackson v. Abercrombie

In 1998, Hawaii amended its state constitution to allow the state legislature to ban same-sex marriage. Four years later, Nevada adopted a similar constitutional amendment, forbidding any government official in the state from recognizing same-sex marriage. Both amendments were challenged under the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause by same-sex couples, in lawsuits filed in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The trial court in each case rejected the challenge, and the couples appealed. Their cases were consolidated before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Read more

Barnes-Wallace v. City of San Diego and Boy Scouts of America

The City of San Diego leases large parcels of prime parkland to the Boy Scouts of America at nominal rates. The Boy Scouts discriminate in membership and employment against atheists and agnostics by requiring scouts and leaders to profess a belief in God. A federal trial court held that the leases were unconstitutional because the Boy Scouts are a religious organization and San Diego’s leasing process was not neutral. The Boy Scouts appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Read more

Perry v. Brown

This case involves the constitutionality of Proposition 8 (otherwise known as the "California Marriage Protection Act"), a referendum that amended the California Constitution to provide that legal marriages can only be between a man and a woman. After a federal trial, the district court ruled that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Read more

McCollum v. California

Challenge to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's refusal to allow a Wiccan clergyman to serve as volunteer chaplain in prisons because he is not Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, or Native American.

Johnson v. Poway Unified School District

A California public high-school teacher displayed large banners in his classroom with the following text: "IN GOD WE TRUST," "ONE NATION UNDER GOD," "GOD BLESS AMERICA," "GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE," and "All Men Are Created Equal They Are Endowed By Their CREATOR." After the teacher refused to provide those with greater historical context so as to avoid promoting religion, the school district instructed the teacher to remove the banners altogether.  Read more

Card v. City of Everett

Challenge to placement of a Ten Commandments monument in front of a Washington State city hall building.

Community House, Inc. v. City of Boise

Challenge to City of Boise's contract for the provision of homeless-shelter services with Boise Rescue Mission, which required the homeless to attend religious services as a condition of receiving food or shelter.

Trunk v. City of San Diego

In 1952, the City of San Diego authorized the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association to build a 43-foot-tall Latin cross on top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla, California. In 1989, two Vietnam veterans from San Diego sued the City in federal court, claiming that the display of the cross on City property violated the United States and California constitutions. In 1991, the trial court ruled that the cross violated the California Constitution and ordered that the cross be removed from City property; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the decision. Read more

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