The role of invidious discrimination in free exercise claims: putting Iqbal in its place.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal has been widely discussed for three reasons: (1) its extension of Twombly's pleading standard (1) to cases outside the realm of antitrust suits, (2) its application of the collateral order doctrine to a district court order denying an official's motion to dismiss on the basis of qualified immunity in a Bivens claim, (2) and (3) its implication for national security and post-September 11th terrorist detainments and investigations. However, Iqbal also implicates the nature of what constitutes unconstitutional religious discrimination under the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause. (3) Therefore, the Iqbal Court's discussion of religious liberty will present problems of interpretation in future free exercise claims.
Iqbal raises the question of whether a showing of invidious discrimination (4) is required in a free exercise claim. The answer to this question is crucial because it could potentially cripple plaintiffs bringing free exercise claims by making them prove an extra element: the government official they are suing acted with animus as opposed to mere intent as volition or intent as awareness of consequences on religion. Although Iqbal could be interpreted as requiring all free exercise claims to show invidious discrimination, the better view of Iqbal is that it does not speak to the vast majority of free exercise claims that plaintiffs can bring against the government. Instead, Iqbal should be applicable only where the plaintiff has specifically alleged invidious discrimination and a government official has asserted the defense of qualified immunity in a Bivens claim.
II. FACTS AND HOLDING
In November 2001, during the September 11th terrorist attack investigations, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Immigration and Naturalization Service arrested Javaid Iqbal, a Pakistani Muslim, on charges of fraud in regard to his identification documents and conspiracy to defraud the United States. (5) The government then imprisoned Iqbal in Brooklyn and labeled him a person "of high interest" to the September 11th terrorist investigations. (6) In January 2002, prison officials placed him in the prison's Administrative Maximum Special Housing Unit (ADMAX SHU). (7)
The ADMAX SHU utilized the maximum security conditions allowable under federal prison regulations. (8) Under these conditions, detainees, including Iqbal, "were kept in lockdown for [twenty-three] hours a day, spending the remaining hour outside their cells in handcuffs and leg irons accompanied by a four-officer escort." (9) After his time at the ADMAX SHU, Iqbal plead guilty to the charges of fraud and conspiracy to defraud, was imprisoned, (10) and returned to Pakistan. (11)
Iqbal then filed a Bivens (12) action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York against thirty-four current and former federal officials, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft (13) and FBI Director Robert Mueller. (14) Ashcroft and Mueller were the petitioners before the United States Supreme Court in Iqbal (15) The complaint alleged that Ashcroft and Mueller "adopted an unconstitutional policy that subjected respondent to harsh conditions of confinement on account of his race, religion, or national origin." (16) Iqbal contended that "Ashcroft and Mueller were at the very least aware of the discriminatory detention policy and condoned it (and perhaps even took part in devising it), thereby violating his First and Fifth Amendment rights." (17)
In support of Iqbal's allegations that he was subjected to especially harsh conditions due to a discriminatory policy, his complaint concentrated "on his treatment while confined to the ADMAX SHU." (18) He claimed that his jailors "'kicked him in the stomach, punched him in the face, and dragged him across' his cell without justification"; (19) did not provide him with appropriate medical attention; (20) subjected him to strip and body-cavity searches when he posed no safety risk; (21) and refused to let him and other Muslims pray because they did not allow "prayers for terrorists." (22) He also contended that prison staff routinely confiscated his Quran, impeded his participation in prayer services, and verbally reproached him by calling him a "terrorist" and "Muslim killer." (23)
In the district court, Ashcroft and Mueller raised the defense of qualified immunity to the Bivens claim. (24) They moved to dismiss the lawsuit pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing that the complaint was insufficient to state a claim against them. (25) When a defense of qualified immunity is raised, the plaintiff must prove the violation of a clearly established constitutional right in order to overcome the defense. (26) In a free exercise claim, this constitutional right is that the government cannot intentionally discriminate against a person on the basis of his or her religion. (27) When the complaint fails to allege sufficient facts to show the violation of a clearly established constitutional right, the defendant has immunity from suit, and the case is summarily dismissed. (28)
The district court denied Ashcroft and Mueller's motion to dismiss, finding the complaint sufficient to state a claim, despite their official status during the alleged discrimination. (29) Invoking the collateral-order doctrine, (30) Ashcroft and Mueller brought an interlocutory appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. (31) The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's decision. (32)
The qualified immunity defense turned on the question of whether Iqbal adequately stated a claim that Ashcroft and Mueller "deprived him of his clearly established constitutional rights." (33) The Supreme Court, restricting supervisory liability in Bivens claims, (34) only analyzed the three allegations in the complaint directed against the two petitioners: (35) (1) the FBI, under Mueller's direction, "arrested and detained thousands of Arab Muslim men" during its September 11th investigations; (36) (2) Ashcroft and Mueller approved "[t]he policy of holding post-September-11th detainees in highly restrictive conditions of confinement until they were 'cleared' by the FBI"; (37) and (3) Ashcroft and Mueller "'each knew of, condoned, and willfully and maliciously agreed to subject' respondent to harsh conditions of confinement 'as a matter of policy, solely on account of [his] religion, race, and/or national origin and for no legitimate penological interest.'" (38) The complaint also named Ashcroft as the "principal architect" of the discriminatory policy and identified Mueller as "instrumental in [its] adoption, promulgation, and implementation." (39)
In dealing with Iqbal's claim of intentional religious discrimination under the Free Exercise Clause, the Court found that a free exercise claim requires a showing of purposeful discrimination, not just "intent as volition or intent as awareness of consequences." (40) In other words, the Court required proof that a defendant undertook his or her "course of action 'because of,' not merely 'in spite of,'" adverse effects upon a plaintiff's identifiable religious class. (41)
In a five-to-four opinion, the Supreme Court ultimately held that, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), (42) Iqbal's complaint was insufficient to state a claim of purposeful discrimination. (43)
III. LEGAL BACKGROUND
A. Free Exercise Clause: A General Overview
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." (44) In Braunfeld v. Brown, Chief Justice Warren declared that "[t]he freedom to hold religious beliefs and opinions is absolute." (45) However, the Free Exercise Clause does not provide absolute protection for religiously motivated conduct. (46) The Free Exercise Clause has been invoked primarily in three situations: (1) when the government prohibits behavior that a person's religion requires, (47) (2) when the government requires conduct that a person's religion prohibits, (48) and (3) when an individual claims that a law burdens his or her religion or discriminates on the basis of religion. (49) Ashcroft v. Iqbal falls into this third category of cases because Iqbal contended that Ashcroft and Mueller implemented an unconstitutional policy that subjected him to harsh prison conditions as a result of his religion. (50)
One of the earliest cases to examine the Free Exercise Clause was Reynolds v. United States, in which the Supreme Court upheld a federal law that prohibited polygamy in the Utah territory over the defendant's argument that his Mormon religious beliefs required him to have multiple wives. (51) Chief Justice Waite wrote that to permit a person to refuse to follow a law because of his or her religious beliefs "would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances." (52) Thus, the right of free exercise completely prohibits government regulation of belief, an absolute right, but only limits government regulation of action, which is not an absolute right. Chief Justice Waite said: "Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order." (53) The same principle applies to the executive branch, including the FBI.
Although the Court did not devise an overall test to determine permissible legislation under the Free Exercise Clause prior to the 1960s, it invalidated laws that proscribed solicitation for religious or charitable purposes as an infringement on freedom of speech and religion. (54) In 1963, the Court evaluated a free exercise claim under the test of strict scrutiny, declaring unconstitutional the denial of unemployment benefits to a woman who refused new employment requiring her to work on her Saturday Sabbath. (55)
In 1990, the Supreme Court substantially changed the nature of free exercise claims in Employment Division v. Smith by creating a two-pronged test the law in question must fail before being examined under strict scrutiny. (56) The Smith Court reasoned that a law is constitutional if it is "neutral" (the law is not designed to interfere with religion) and "of general applicability" (the law does not single out religious observance for punishment). (57) Thus, a neutral law of general applicability only had to meet rational basis review, whereas laws that were either not neutral as to religion or not generally applicable to all activities, whether religious or not, had to meet strict scrutiny. In 1993, Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah reaffirmed and elaborated upon Smith. (58)
B. Lukumi and Free Exercise Claims Related to Discrimination
Lukumi provides an overview of the modern approach to free exercise claims related to discrimination. In Lukumi, a church challenged a Florida city's ordinances that prohibited the ritual slaughter of animals. (59) The Supreme Court held that the ordinances were intentionally discriminatory so as to keep the Santeria religious group out of the community and thus were unconstitutional under the Free Exercise Clause. (60)
Under Smith and Lukumi, to get strict scrutiny review of a government action under the Free Exercise Clause, the claimants first must show that the government action imposed a burden on the exercise of their sincerely held religious beliefs. (61) once this burden is met, courts then analyze whether the law is neutral and generally applicable with the "general proposition that a law that is  neutral and  of general applicability need not be justified by a compelling governmental interest even if the law has the incidental effect of burdening a particular religious practice."(62)
To meet the "the minimum requirement of neutrality," a law must not "discriminate on its face." (63) Thus, a law is not facially neutral if it focuses on religion "without a secular meaning discernable from the language or context." (64) Free Exercise Clause analysis "extends beyond facial discrimination" by protecting "against governmental hostility which is masked, as well as overt." (65) To prove that a governmental act or policy is not neutral, the plaintiff must show that the government has discriminated along religious lines, but the plaintiff is not required to show invidious legislative motive to defeat neutrality. (66) of course, legislative animus can be a way of proving that the act or governmental policy is intended to burden religion or intended to discriminate on a religious basis. In Lukumi, the Court undergirded its deference to the protection afforded by the Free Exercise Clause by quoting Justice Harlan's concurring opinion in Walz v. Tax Commission of New York City: "' The Court must survey meticulously the circumstances of governmental categories to eliminate, as it were, religious gerrymanders.'" (67) The Court in Lukumi found that the Hialeah ordinances' primary objective was to inhibit animal sacrifice in Santeria religious worship, and, therefore, the ordinances were not neutral. (68)
Second, the requirement of general applicability rests upon the "principle that government, in pursuit of legitimate interests, cannot in a selective manner impose burdens only on conduct motivated by religious belief." (69) Therefore, the government must also proscribe nonreligious conduct that similarly endangers the government's legitimate interests. (70) Through a law of general applicability, society must impose upon itself the same constraints as it imposes upon those with the religious beliefs in question. (71)
In Lukumi, the Court found that the city's ordinances were not neutral or generally applicable. (72) The ordinances not only sought to suppress religion but also failed to prohibit nonreligious conduct (73) that endangered the city's stated interests of public health and the prevention of cruelty to animals. (74) Accordingly, the Court used the strict scrutiny standard to analyze the ordinances, (75) because a law that fails to satisfy either the neutrality or general applicability requirement "must undergo the most rigorous of scrutiny," (76) which means that the law "must be justified by a compelling governmental interest and must be narrowly tailored to advance that interest." (77) This standard forbids laws that "impose special disabilities on the basis of religious views or religious status." (78)
Using strict scrutiny analysis, the majority in Lukumi determined that, even if the government's interests in public health and prevention of cruelty to animals were compelling in that case, the ordinances were not narrowly drawn to achieve those interests because similar, nonreligious animal slaughter was not prohibited under the ordinances. (79) Finally, the majority opined: "A law that targets religious conduct for distinctive treatment or advances legitimate governmental interests only against conduct with a religious motivation will survive strict scrutiny only in rare cases." (80)
Congress attempted to negate Smith by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993, which requires that courts use strict scrutiny in analyzing all statutory claims, even if the law is neutral and of general applicability. (81) In 1997, the Supreme Court declared RFRA partially unconstitutional as exceeding the scope of Congress' powers under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. (82) However, RFRA is still applicable to the federal government. (83) Thus, the rational basis test for free exercise claims ex pounded in Smith still stands. (84)
C. Controversial Questions of Animus in Free Exercise Claims
Although Lukumi delineated many of the constitutional protections afforded to religious exercise, Justice Kennedy's statements in Lukumi Part IIA-2, joined only by Justice Stevens, initiated what would later become a debate concerning whether invidious discrimination must be proven to show lack of neutrality under the Free Exercise Clause. (85) In Part II-A-2, Justice Kennedy noted that equal protection cases provide guidance to the determination of a law's religious neutrality. (86) Citing Personnel Administrator v. Feeney, a sex discrimination case arising under the Equal Protection Clause, Justice Kennedy found that certain factors--such as a law's historical background, legislative or administrative history, and the events leading to the enactment of the law or policy in question--"bear on the question of discriminatory object." (87) He also stated that the ordinances declared unconstitutional in Lukumi "were enacted 'because of,' not merely 'in spite of,' their suppression of [the plaintiffs'] religious practice." (88)
In Part II-A-2 of Lukumi, (89) Justice Kennedy cited Washington v. Davis, (90) which also informed his definition and treatment of purposeful religious discrimination in Iqbal. (91) Washington held that the governmental wrongdoer must intend a differentiation between the favored and disfavored racial groups. (92) What was important in Washington's discrimination consideration was that the official action in question was purposefully drawn along racial lines. (93) In other words, instead of the discrimination being an unintended, disparate effect on a racial minority, the government must have intended the classification, regardless of its motive. Therefore, the meaning of "discrimination" (94) in Washington, and thus Smith and Part II-A-2 of Lukumi, did not include a requirement of animus or invidious intent. Instead, evidence that a legislature was motivated by animus may be used as evidence that a legislative act or governmental policy unconstitutionally discriminates on a religious basis.
The Third Circuit interpreted discriminatory intent in Fraternal Order of Police Newark Lodge No. 12 v. Newark. (95) The court held that the police department's decision to provide medical exemptions to its no-beard policy, while refusing religious exemptions from the same policy, was subject to intermediate scrutiny and that no animus needed to be shown. (96) Hence, the denial of a religious exemption to the no-beard policy violated the Free Exercise Clause. (97) Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion in Newark while a judge on the Third Circuit. (98)
In Locke v. Davey, plaintiff Davey argued that a merit-based Washington state scholarship program that disallowed funding for devotional theology majors violated the Free Exercise Clause and was presumptively unconstitutional under Lukumi because it was not facially neutral with respect to religion. (99) The Supreme Court rejected Davey's argument and upheld the scholarship program. (100) In so doing, the Court declined to extend the Lukumi majority's reasoning to Locke's facts because Locke involved a state's "disfavor of religion ... of a far milder kind" than in Lukumi. (101)
The Locke Court concluded its opinion by noting that nothing in the history or text of the Washington Constitution or in the operation of the scholarship program "suggest[ed] animus toward religion." (102) Professor Marci A. Hamilton, a key proponent of reading an invidious discrimination requirement into the neutrality determination, singled out this reference to animus in Locke to mean that "presumptive unconstitutionality (and therefore the necessity of strict scrutiny)" is triggered only by demonstrable governmental "hostility" or "animus" toward a religious group or religion in general. (103) She then identified what she believed to be two "pivotal principles" in Smith, Lukumi, and Locke: "(1) the courts are to apply a default rule in favor of applying duly enacted, neutral, and generally applicable laws to religious conduct and (2) that default rule is only overcome in the face of evidence of persecution [i.e. animus] of religion." (104)
However, Professor Douglas Laycock called Hamilton's advocacy of a hostility or animus requirement misleading at a minimum and false at worst. (105) He said that Lukumi could have been decided on grounds of animus, but Justice Kennedy's attempt to do so only received two votes in Part II-A-2. (106) Accordingly, Laycock concluded that Hamilton's book, God vs. the Gavel, should not be cited because of its many inaccuracies and "reckless disregard for truth." (107)
Justice Scalia's dissenting opinion in Locke also discounted the majority's reference to animus: "The Court does not explain why the legislature's motive matters, and I fail to see why it should.... It is sufficient that the citizen's rights have been infringed." (108) Notably, Justice Scalia was the author of Smith, the origin of the test for neutrality and general applicability. (109) Quoting his concurring opinion in Lukumi, Justice Scalia argued, "[It does not] matter that a legislature consists entirely of the purehearted, if the law it enacts in fact singles out a religious practice for special burdens." (110) Thus, a law that infringes on the free exercise of religion ought to be unconstitutional regardless of the legislature's motive. (111)
IV. INSTANT DECISION
The majority's definition of the issue in Iqbal was whether respondent Iqbal, "as the plaintiff in the District Court, [pled] factual matter that, if taken as true, states a claim that petitioners deprived him of his clearly established constitutional rights." (112) The Court analyzed only the allegations in the complaint directed against Ashcroft and Mueller and not those against their subordinates. (113)
After deciding that the court of appeals had jurisdiction over Iqbal's interlocutory appeal, (114) the majority discussed the elements necessary in stating a Bivens claim. (115) The Court was reluctant to extend Bivens to a First Amendment claim of religious discrimination because they had not found an implied damages remedy under the Free Exercise Clause (116) and had previously "declined to extend Bivens to a claim sounding in the First Amendment." (117) However, because Ashcroft and Mueller had not raised this argument, the majority assumed that Iqbal's First Amendment claim was actionable under Bivens. (118)
The majority then held that "[b]ecause vicarious liability is inapplicable to Bivens and [42 U.S.C.] [section] 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each Government-official defendant, through the official's own individual actions, has violated the Constitution." (119) The Court found that, to establish a Bivens violation "[w]here the claim is invidious discrimination in contravention of the First and Fifth Amendments ... the plaintiff must plead and prove that the defendant acted with discriminatory purpose." (120)
The Court went on to state that "discriminatory purpose" is not just "'intent as volition or intent as awareness of consequences.'" (121) It means, said the Court, that a defendant undertook his or her "course of action 'because of,' not merely 'in spite of,'" its adverse effects upon an identifiable religious class of which the plaintiff is a member. (122) The majority also noted that the "violation of a clearly (123) established right" is required to defeat a defense of qualified immunity. The Court concluded that, to establish discriminatory purpose and violation of a clearly established right, the plaintiff "must plead sufficient factual matter to show that [the defendants] adopted and implemented the detention policies at issue not for a neutral, investigative reason but for the purpose of discriminating" on the basis of religion. (124)
By applying Twombly's pleading standard for Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), the Court found that the allegations in Iqbal's complaint were not entitled to be assumed true because Iqbal's allegations against Ashcroft and Mueller were "bare assertions" which amounted "to nothing more than a 'formulaic recitation of the elements' of a constitutional discrimination claim." (125) In effect, because the Court did not consider the complaint's allegations against Ashcroft and Mueller's subordinates, Iqbal did not aver enough facts against Ashcroft and Mueller for the Court to determine whether their alleged policies were invidiously discriminatory.
In summary, the Court held that the district court's order denying Ashcroft and Mueller's motion to dismiss based on qualified immunity was immediately appealable under the collateral-order doctrine. (126) Moreover, Iqbal's complaint was insufficient to state a claim of purposeful discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, or religion. (127) In specifically dealing with Iqbal's free exercise claim, the Court could not decide whether the discriminatory animus requirement was satisfied because of the insufficient pleadings. (128)
Justice Souter dissented both from the rejection of supervisory liability (129) and from the holding that the complaint failed to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2). (130) Accepting Ashcroft and Mueller's concession that the allegations were true for the purposes of the motion, Justice Souter would have "proceed[ed] to consider whether the complaint alleg[ed] at least knowledge [of the actions of subordinates] and deliberate indifference." (131) Souter then argued that the complaint satisfied Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) because "Ashcroft and Mueller admit they are liable for their subordinates' conduct if they 'had actual knowledge of the assertedly discriminatory nature of the classification of suspects as being 'of high interest' and they were deliberately indifferent to that discrimination.'" (132) Iqbal's complaint would have then been sufficient because of his claims that the FBI "'arrested and detained thousands of Arab Muslim men'" and that the "'high interest'" designation was made "'because of the race, religion, and national origin of the detainees, and not because of any evidence of the detainees' involvement in supporting terrorist activity.'" (133) Finally, Souter found that "[i]f these factual allegations are true, Ashcroft and Mueller were, at the very least, aware of the discriminatory policy being implemented and deliberately indifferent to it." (134)
A. Invidious Discrimination on the Basis of Religion and Iqbal
The striking question in Iqbal is whether a showing of invidious discrimination is a requirement in every free exercise claim. Government lawyers may cite Iqbal as saying that all free exercise claims require animus. (135) However, the better interpretation of Iqbal is that it does not require a showing of animus in the vast majority of free exercise claims and instead only pertains to invidious discrimination claims under the Free Exercise Clause. (136) There are several types of free exercise claims other than claims of invidious discrimination. (137)
In Iqbal, the Court stated, "Where the claim is invidious discrimination in contravention of the First and Fifth Amendments, our decisions make clear that the plaintiff must plead and prove that the defendant acted with discriminatory purpose." (138) Taken literally, this "discriminatory purpose" passage could potentially eliminate free exercise claims asserting objectively unequal treatment without invidious discrimination. (139) Professor Hamilton would most likely support this interpretation. (140)
However, the Court likely did not intend to change the requirements of free exercise claims in a case about pleading standards. (141) Notably, Justice Alito, who wrote the Newark opinion while still a Third Circuit judge, joined the majority opinion. (142) It is unlikely that Justice Alito would write a majority opinion finding that animus is not required in a free exercise claim (Newark) and later join a decision holding that animus is required in every free exercise claim.
In addition, Justice Kennedy's majority opinion in Iqbal cites in the "discriminatory purpose" passage only to his Part II-A-2 opinion in Lukumi Part II-A-2 is not a majority opinion. (143) In using the pinpoint cite, Justice Kennedy could have been highlighting the fact that this part of Lukumi is not a recognized opinion of the Court, or he could have been trying to subtly add a subjective motive requirement where one did not previously exist. (144) Finally, the Court has expressly denied a required showing of illicit motive in another First Amendment claim. (145) In Simon & Schuster, Inc., Justice O'Connor wrote for the majority: "[O]ur cases have consistently held that '[i]llicit legislative intent is not the sine qua non of a violation of the First Amendment.'" (146)
B. Iqbal's Narrow Scope
Iqbal's decision is narrow in scope: it analyzes invidious discrimination claims under the Free Exercise Clause in the context of a Bivens qualified immunity defense. There are many other claims involving the Free Exercise Clause that a plaintiff can bring against the government that are not impacted by Iqbal. Therefore, Iqbal should not be used to require a plaintiff asserting a free exercise claim, other than one pleading invidious discrimination, to prove animus.
1. Types of Free Exercise Claims
Smith, Lukumi, and Locke give rise to three types of free exercise claims. First, a plaintiff can allege that the law in question is not neutral as to religion, either on its face or as intentionally applied. (147) If shown to be nonneutral, the law is intentionally discriminatory. (148) The government's "intent" in such an instance is volition or awareness of the law's consequences. (149) Second, a plaintiff can allege that the law is not generally applicable. (150) A law that is not neutral or not generally applicable will still be upheld if the government can show a compelling governmental interest for the intentional discrimination. (151) Third, a plaintiff can allege that the law is born of invidious discrimination. (152) This third type of free exercise claim requires proof of animus, which means showing that the defendant (i.e., the government) acted "because of" and not merely "in spite of" the adverse effects on the plaintiff's religious group and had a bad motive in so doing. (153) Clearly, the easier paths for a plaintiff are to allege non-neutrality or lack of general applicability. Accordingly, the plaintiff only must prove "intent" in the sense of volition or awareness of the law's consequences.
In addition to the free exercise claims established by Smith, Lukumi, and Locke, a plaintiff can claim a violation of the Free Exercise Clause that does not involve religious discrimination. A free exercise claim arises if the government places an individual in the position of having to prove the truth of his or her religious beliefs. (154) Additionally, government cannot intrude into a religious organization's autonomy in a way that compromises its institutional character. (155) There are four areas within which government has no jurisdiction over a religious organization's autonomy: (1) questions of doctrine, importance of a doctrine, and the resolution of doctrinal disputes; (156) (2) the choice as to the religious organization's political structure and its administration, including the interpretation of institutional documents and bylaws; (157) (3) the selection, credentials, promotion, discipline, and conditions of employment concerning religious leadership; (158) and (4) the admission, expected moral behavior, and excommunication of organizational members. (159) Finally, there is a "ministerial exception" that exempts religious organizations from employment nondiscrimination laws. (160)
2. Purposeful Discrimination in the Smith, Lukumi, and Locke Types of Free Exercise Claims
Washington v. Davis guides the requirement of purposeful religious discrimination in Smith, Lukumi, and Locke's types of free exercise claims. (161) The meaning of "purposeful discrimination" (162) in Washington, and thus Smith, Lukumi, and Iqbal, does not include a requirement of animus or invidious discrimination. Therefore, evidence of animus may be used as some proof that an official's act or a governmental policy is burdening religion or discriminating on a religious basis, but such evidence is not required to state a claim.
In analyzing the Court's requirement that Iqbal plead purposeful discrimination, Washington is particularly relevant because the parties set up the case in terms of favored and disfavored groups. (163) Iqbal claimed he was mistreated because he was a Muslim, whereas the government said that it was jailing suspected terrorists who happened to be disproportionately Muslim. (164) Thus, the issue became a choice between disparate treatment and disparate impact, which is why the Washington v. Davis reference makes sense. (165)
The Iqbal majority restated the Washington requirement that a plaintiff must allege that the government knew and intended for the law to classify (i.e., discriminate) along religious lines. For example, the majority noted that the "respondent must plead sufficient factual matter to show that petitioners adopted and implemented the detention policies at issue not for a neutral, investigative reason but for the purpose of discriminating on account of race, religion, or national origin." (166) These sentences summarize the discrimination requirement.
3. Iqbal, Invidious Discrimination, and Qualified Immunity
Iqbal most directly speaks to the third type of free exercise claim: invidious discrimination. Iqbal alleged this type of claim, contending he was housed in a maximum security prison unit under harsh circumstances in part because of his Muslim religion. (167) Iqbal's claim was the context for Justice Kennedy's statement in Iqbal's "discriminatory purpose" passage. (168) Thus, the "discriminatory purpose" passage was a mere "tautology: if you allege intentional discrimination, you have to prove intent." (169) Professor Laycock thinks that Justice Kennedy's reference to Washington in the context of a disparate treatment versus disparate impacts analysis gives credence to a conditional view of the "discriminatory purpose" passage. (170) In this scenario, animus need not be proved because discrimination still means what it did under Washington v. Davis; (171) discrimination has been a part of the Smith, Lukumi, and Locke free exercise claims all along. Instead, because Iqbal brought an invidious discrimination claim, he had to prove both purposeful and invidious discrimination.
Iqbal is further limited by the defendants' qualified immunity defense. Iqbal was decided in the context of a Bivens action for damages against two high-level government officials. The Court found that "purpose rather than knowledge is required to impose Bivens liability" on an official charged with violations arising from supervisory liability. (172) Therefore, Professor Ira Lupu frames the question as "whether the defendant public official intentionally violated a known constitutional right." (173) He notes that, in a case for damages, "there may be a violation of the Free Exercise Clause, but not a violation of the sort that will overcome the qualified immunity of officers." (174) The defendants have qualified immunity unless the violation was of a clearly established right. (175) In free exercise claims, the constitutional right that is most clearly established is that the government cannot invidiously discriminate on the basis of religion. (176) Therefore, when the Iqbal majority stated that Iqbal's complaint failed to state a claim, it was requiring proof of invidious discrimination because that is also what the defense of qualified immunity required in this case. (177)
If read properly, Iqbal could even have a positive impact on free exercise claims by further refining the definition of an invidious discrimination claim under the Free Exercise Clause and by highlighting the fact that animus is not required in the great majority of free exercise claims. Therefore, a plaintiff may plead and prove invidious discrimination, but need not do so in most free exercise claims.
The free exercise aspects of Iqbal raise the question of whether a showing of animus is required in all free exercise claims. Although Iqbal will no doubt be cited to support such an assertion, the better view is that Iqbal speaks only to the definition of an invidious discrimination claim under the Free Exercise Clause in the context of a Bivens qualified immunity defense.
Under its most logical interpretation, Iqbal does not necessitate a showing of animus in the vast majority of free exercise claims that a plaintiff can bring against the government. Instead, it provides plaintiffs with a better view of the requirements of an invidious discrimination claim in a specific context: after the defendant has asserted a defense of qualified immunity. Thus, a plaintiff must prove both purposeful and invidious discrimination on the basis of religion only in an invidious discrimination claim. Therefore, plaintiffs' lawyers and religious activists can likely rest assured that the Court has not narrowed the number of claims cognizable under the Free Exercise Clause.
Leila McNeill, B.A., John Brown University, 2005; M.P.A., Cornell University, 2008; J.D. Candidate, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, 2011; Editor in Chief, Missouri Law Review, 2010-11. I am grateful to Professor Carl H. Esbeck for his advice and guidance in my writing of this Note and to James, Lois, and Julia McNeill and Sean Mullican for their love and support.
(1.) Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007) (requiring a complaint to contain enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible, not just possible).
(2.) Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 397 (1971) (recognizing an implied private right of action, similar to that in a 42 U.S.C. [section] 1983 claim, for damages against federal officers alleged to have violated a person's constitutional rights).
(3.) See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1948-49 (2009).
(4.) "Invidious discrimination," in this Note, will be used interchangeably with the word "animus" in the context of the government's purposeful classification or discrimination along religious lines with malice or hateful intent.
(5.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1943 (citing Iqbal v. Hasty, 490 F.3d 143, 147-48 & n.1 (2d Cir. 2007)).
(6.) Id. Iqbal was imprisoned at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York. Id.
(10.) After Iqbal pled guilty, he was imprisoned in the regular prison, not the ADMAX SHU, from approximately July 2002 to January 2003. Hasty, 490 F.3d at 149.
(11.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1943.
(12.) See generally Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).
(13.) Ashcroft was still the Attorney General at the time Iqbal filed his complaint in May 2004. See Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1942.
(14.) Id. at 1942-43.
(15.) Id. at 1942.
(17.) Id. at 1955 (Souter, J., dissenting).
(18.) Id. at 1943-44 (majority opinion).
(19.) Id. at 1944 (quoting First Amended Complaint [paragraph] 113, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009) (No. 04-CV-1809 (JG)(JA)) [hereinafter Complaint]; Petition for a Writ of Certiorari at 176a, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009) (No. 04-CV-1809 (JG)(JA)) [hereinafter Petition].
(20.) Iqbal v. Hasty, 490 F. 3d 143, 149 (2d Cir. 2007).
(21.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1944 (citing Complaint, supra note 19, [paragraph] [paragraph] 143-45; Petition, supra note 19, at 182a).
(22.) Id. (quoting Complaint, supra note 19, [paragraph] 154; Petition, supra note 19, at 184a).
(23.) Hasty, 490 F.3d at 149.
(24.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1942.
(26.) Johnson v. Fankell, 520 U.S. 911, 914-15 (1997).
(27.) See Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520, 532 (1993) ("At a minimum, the protections of the Free Exercise Clause pertain if the law at issue discriminates against some or all religious beliefs or regulates or prohibits conduct because it is undertaken for religious reasons.").
(28.) Johnson, 520 U.S. at 915. The rationale behind this heightened standard, and the ease with which a qualified immunity case can be dismissed at the pleadings stage, is to protect government officials from insubstantial claims and broad discovery. Id. & n.2.
(29.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1942.
(30.) The collateral-order doctrine allows immediate appeals from "district court decisions that are conclusive, that resolve important questions completely separate from the merits, and that would render such important questions effectively unreviewable on appeal from final judgment in the underlying action." Digital Equip. Corp. v. Desktop Direct, Inc., 511 U.S. 863, 867 (1994) (citing Coopers & Lybrand v. Livesay, 437 U.S. 463, 468 (1978)). The Supreme Court had previously decided that immediate appeals can be taken from orders denying a government official' s qualified immunity defense. Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 526-27 (1985).
(31.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1942.
(33.) Id. at 1942-43.
(34.) The Court found that Ashcroft and Mueller had no supervisory liability, meaning that "[g]overnment officials may not be held liable for the unconstitutional conduct of their subordinates." Id. at 1948. For supervisory liability to attach, discriminatory "purpose rather than [mere] knowledge" of the officials' subordinates' discriminatory purpose is required. Id. at 1949.
(35.) This disposal of supervisory liability was likely highly prejudicial to the Court's overall determination that Iqbal did not assert enough factual evidence to make a claim in the case because, in effect, the Court could not then consider the allegedly discriminatory acts of the jailors while Iqbal was detained in ADMAX SHU. See id. at 1948; see also id. at 1954-55 (Souter, J., dissenting).
(36.) Id. at 1944 (majority opinion) (quoting Complaint, supra note 19, [paragraph] 47; Petition, supra note 19, at 164a).
(37.) Id. (quoting Complaint, supra note 19, [paragraph] 69; Petition, supra note 19, at 168a).
(38.) Id. (alteration in original) (quoting Complaint, supra note 19, [paragraph] 96; Petition, supra note 19, at 172a-173a).
(39.) Id. (quoting Complaint, supra note 19, [paragraph] 10-11; Petition, supra note 19, at 157a).
(40.) Id. at 1948 (quoting Pers. Adm'r of Mass. v. Feeney, 442 U.S. 256, 279 (1979)).
(41.) Id. (quoting Feeney, 442 U.S. at 279).
(42.) Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a)(2) (requiring a pleading to have "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief").
(43.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1941, 1943.
(44.) U.S. Const. amend. I (emphasis added).
(45.) 366 U.S. 599, 603 (1961).
(46.) Employment Div., Dep't of Human Res. v. Smith, 485 U.S. 660, 670 n.13 (1988) (noting the "distinction between the absolute constitutional protection against governmental regulation of religious beliefs[,] on the one hand, and the qualified protection against the regulation of religiously motivated conduct, on the other.").
(47.) See, e.g., Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1878) (determining whether religious beliefs can justify an overt criminal act).
(48.) See, e.g., United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252 (1982) (rejecting a challenge by an Amish employer and his employees who claimed that the requirement that the employer pay social security and unemployment insurance taxes violated their religious beliefs).
(49.) See, e.g., Thomas v. Review Bd., 450 U.S. 707 (1981) (holding that Indiana' s denial of unemployment compensation benefits to the claimant, who quit his job because of his religious beliefs, violated his First Amendment right to free exercise of religion); Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963) (holding that South Carolina could not constitutionally deny benefits to a claimant who had refused employment on Saturday because of her religious beliefs concerning rest on the Sabbath).
(50.) Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1942 (2009).
(51.) Reynolds, 98 U.S. at 167-68.
(52.) Id. at 167.
(53.) Id. at 164.
(54.) See, e.g., Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105, 108 (1943); Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 303 (1940).
(55.) Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 406-08 (1963).
(56.) Employment Div., Dep't of Human Res. v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 890 (1990) (holding a state law prohibiting consumption of peyote constitutional under the Free Exercise Clause, even though use of peyote was required by some Native American religions, because the law applied to everyone in the state and did not punish conduct solely because it was religiously motivated).
(57.) See id. at 879 (quoting United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252, 263 n.3 (1982)); see also Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520, 531 (1993).
(58.) Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 531-32.
(59.) Id. at 526-28. The ordinances were created after a church of the Santeria religion, which engages in ritual animal sacrifice, announced plans to establish a house of worship in the city of Hialeah. Id. at 525-26.
(60.) Id. at 547.
(61.) Id. at 531 (noting that "[n]either the city nor the courts below ... have questioned the sincerity of petitioners' professed desire to conduct animal sacrifices for religious reasons").
(62.) Id. (citing Employment Div., Dep't of Human Res. v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 890 (1990)).
(63.) Id. at 533.
(65.) Id. at 534.
(66.) The word "discriminate" in this context merely refers to the government's intention to classify a law along religious lines, whether for good motive or bad. See, e.g., Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, 240 (1976). That the government was intentional in making a classification does not necessarily mean that the government was malicious in making that classification. See infra Part V.B.1-2.
(67.) Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 534 (quoting Walz v. Tax Comm'n, 397 U.S. 664, 696 (1970) (Harlan, J., concurring)).
(68.) Id. at 534-35.
(69.) Id. at 543.
(70.) See, e.g., id.
(71.) Id. at 545 (quoting Fla. Star v. B.J.F., 491 U.S. 524, 542 (1989) (Scalia, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment)).
(72.) Id. at 542, 546.
(73.) For example, the ordinances allowed the slaughtering of animals for eating, fishing, or game hunting. Id. at 543-44.
(74.) Id. at 542-44.
(75.) Id. at 546.
(77.) Id. at 531-32.
(78.) Employment Div., Dep't of Human Res. v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 877 (1990) (citing McDaniel v. Paty, 435 U.S. 618 (1978)).
(79.) Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 546.
(81.) 42 U.S.C. [section] 2000bb(a)-(b) (2006).
(82.) See City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507, 536 (1997).
(83.) RFRA still applies to the federal government because the Fourteenth Amendment only applies to state and local governments. See, e.g., Kikumura v. Hurley, 242 F.3d 950, 959 (10th Cir. 2001); In re Young, 141 F.3d 854, 858-59 (8th Cir. 1998) (upholding RFRA as applied to the federal government), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 811 (1998). An interesting question, then, would be whether IqbaVs holding, regardless of its impact on free exercise, would inhibit free exercise claims in the Eighth Circuit or other federal courts. Iqbal deals with a federal constitutional question, and the Court discusses this question in terms of the neutral and generally applicable standard under Smith and Lukumi. Therefore, it would seem that, since the federal government must arguably still use a strict scrutiny standard under RFRA, plaintiffs would be able to sue under that statute to nullify any effect of Smith, Lukumi, and Iqbal on free exercise claims under the First Amendment. Because In re Young's certiorari was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court and the case has been treated favorably in later Eighth Circuit cases, its decision to uphold RFRA and abandon the requirements of Smith and Lukumi would appear to also make Iqbal largely irrelevant to plaintiffs seeking strict scrutiny for free exercise claims under RFRA in the Eighth Circuit. See, e.g., Meeks v. Don Howard Remainder Charitable Trust (In re S. Health Care of Ark., Inc.), 309 B.R. 314, 319 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 2004); United States v. Oliver 255 F.3d 588, 589 (8th Cir. 2001) (per curiam); Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc. v. Min De Parle, 212 F.3d 1084, 1093 (8th Cir. 2000).
(84.) See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1947-49 (2009).
(85.) Part II-A-2 was only joined by Justice Stevens and thus was not part of the majority opinion. See Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 522-23, 540-41.
(86.) Id. at 540.
(87.) Id. (citing Pers. Adm'r v. Feeney, 442 U.S. 256, 279 n.24 (1979)) (emphasis added).
(88.) Id. (citing Feeney, 442 U.S. at 279).
(89.) Part II-A-2 was not part of the majority opinion. See supra note 85 and accompanying text.
(90.) 426 U.S. 229, 240 (1976) (finding that "[t]he essential element of [d]e jure segregation is 'a current condition of segregation resulting from intentional state action.'" (quoting Keyes v. Sch. Dist. No. 1, 413 U.S. 189, 205 (1973))).
(91.) See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1948 (citing Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 540-41; Washington, 426 U.S. at 240).
(92.) Washington, 426 U.S. at 240.
(93.) Id. (citing Wright v. Rockefeller, 376 U.S. 52, 67 (1964) (Goldberg, J., dissenting) (noting dissenting opinion's agreement with majority)) (finding that the rule had to be "purposefully drawn on racial lines").
(94.) See supra note 66 and accompanying text.
(95.) 170 F.3d 359, 360 (3d Cir. 1999).
(96.) Id. at 365-66.
(97.) Id. at 360, 366-67.
(98.) Id. at 360. Justice Alito was also part of the majority in Iqbal. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1941 (2009).
(99.) 540 U.S. 712, 720 (2004).
(102.) Id. at 725 (emphasis added) (upholding a Washington state scholarship program that refused to fund only devotional theology majors under the Free Exercise Clause).
(103.) Marci A. Hamilton, God vs. The Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law 215-16 (2005).
(104.) Id. at 216.
(105.) Douglas Laycock, A Syllabus of Errors, 105 Mich. L. Rev. 1169, 1184 (2007).
(107.) Id. at 1186.
(108.) Locke v. Davey, 540 U.S. 712, 732 (2004) (Scalia, J., dissenting).
(109.) See Employment Div., Dep't of Human Res. v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 874 (1990).
(110.) Locke, 540 U.S. at 732 (Scalia, J., dissenting) (quoting Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520, 559 (1993) (Scalia, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment)).
(112.) Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1942-43 (2009).
(113.) Id. at 1944.
(114.) Id. at 1946. The majority first addressed "whether the Court of Appeals had subject-matter jurisdiction to affirm the District Court's order denying petitioners' motion to dismiss." Id. at 1945. After determining that a district court's decision denying a government officer's claim of qualified immunity is an appealable order despite the absence of a final judgment, the Court held that the Court of Appeals had jurisdiction to hear the petitioners' appeal. Id. at 1945-46.
(115.) Id. at 1947-48. For the definition of a Bivens action, see supra note 2.
(116.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1948.
(117.) Id. (citing Bush v. Lucas, 462 U.S. 367 (1983)).
(120.) Id. (citing Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520, 540-41 (1993) (First Amendment); Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, 240 (1976) (Fifth Amendment)). This citation to Lukumi is a pinpoint cite to the non-majority Part II-A-2. Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 521, 540-41. The use of "where" in this passage is unclear. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1948 ("Where the claim is invidious discrimination ... . "). Does it mean that an allegation of invidious discrimination or animus is required to state a claim, or does it simply mean that if the plaintiff alleges animus, then animus must be pled and proved? See infra Part V for discussion of this question.
(121.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1948 (quoting Pers. Adm'r of Mass. v. Feeney, 442 U.S. 256, 279 (1979)).
(124.) Id. at 1948-49.
(125.) Id. at 1951 (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). As stated in supra notes 34-38 and accompanying text, the Court did not consider the meat of Iqbal's religious discrimination claims as described in his complaint because the Court denied that Ashcroft and Mueller had supervisory liability for the acts of their subordinates, including the prison officials in ADMAX SHU.
(126.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1947.
(127.) Id. at 1943.
(128.) Id. at 1951-52.
(129.) The dissenting opinion notes that Ashcroft and Mueller explicitly made the "concession that a supervisor's knowledge of a subordinate's unconstitutional conduct and deliberate indifference to that conduct are grounds for Bivens liability." Id. at 1957 (Souter, J., dissenting).
(130.) Id. at 1955.
(131.) Id. at 1957.
(132.) Id. at 1958 (quoting Brief for the Petitioners at 50, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009) (No. 07-1015), 2008 WL 4063957).
(133.) Id. at 1959 (quoting Complaint, supra note 19, [paragraph] 47-50; Petition, supra note 19, at 164a).
(135.) Posting of Douglas Laycock to Church Autonomy Group, http://groups.google. com/group/Church-Autonomy?hl=en (July 22, 2009, 13:21 EST) [hereinafter Laycock, Church Autonomy].
(136.) See supra note 66 and accompanying text.
(137.) See infra Part V.B.1.
(138.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1948 (citing Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520, 540-41 (1993) (First Amendment); Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, 240 (1976) (Fifth Amendment)). For purposes of this Note, this passage will hereinafter be referred to as the "discriminatory purpose" passage.
(139.) Laycock, Church Autonomy, supra note 135.
(140.) See supra notes 103-04 and accompanying text.
(141.) See Posting of Christopher C. Lund to religionlaw, http://email@example.com/msg08075.html (May 27, 2009, 10:03:45 EST).
(142.) Id.; see also Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1941; Fraternal Order of Police Newark Lodge No. 12 v. Newark, 170 F.3d 359, 360 (3d Cir. 1999) (holding that department's decision to provide medical exemptions to its no-beard requirement, while refusing religious exemptions from same requirement, violated the Free Exercise Clause, despite no showing of animus).
(143.) See Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 522-23, 540-41.
(144.) Laycock, Church Autonomy, supra note 135.
(145.) See Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Members of N.Y. State Crime Victims Bd., 502 U.S. 105, 123 (1991) (holding unconstitutional New York's "Son of Sam" statute, which required an accused or convicted criminal's income from works describing the crime be deposited into an escrow account to be given to the criminal's creditors or victims).
(146.) Id. at 117 (quoting Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. v. Minn. Comm'r of Revenue, 460 U.S. 575, 592 (1983)).
(147.) Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 533-34.
(148.) See supra note 66 and accompanying text.
(149.) See supra note 66 and accompanying text.
(150.) Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 543; see also supra notes 69-71 and accompanying text.
(151.) Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 546.
(152.) Id. at 532-33 ("[I]t was 'historical instances of religious persecution and intolerance that gave concern to those who drafted the Free Exercise Clause.' ... These principles, though not often at issue in our Free Exercise Clause cases, have played a role in some."); see, e.g., Locke v. Davey, 540 U.S. 712, 725 (2004) (finding nothing that suggested "animus toward religion" in a statute).
(153.) Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 540 (citing Pers. Adm'r of Mass. v. Feeney, 442 U.S. 256, 279 (1979)).
(154.) Carl H. Esbeck, A Restatement of the Supreme Court's Law of Religious Freedom: Coherence, Conflict, or Chaos?, 70 Notre Dame L. Rev. 581, 601-02 (1995); see, e.g., United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78, 86-87 (1944); id. at 94-95 (Jackson, J., dissenting). However, sincerity is required when invoking protection. See, e.g., Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 531.
(155.) Esbeck, supra note 154, at 600-01, 635-38; see, e.g., Jones v. Wolf, 443 U.S. 595, 609 (1979) (finding that state courts should give deference to determinations of that church's identity by the governing ecclesiastical body); Presbyterian Church v. Mary Elizabeth Blue Hull Mem'l Presbyterian Church, 393 U.S. 440, 450-51 (1969) (forbidding civil courts to interpret and weigh church doctrine); Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. 679, 733-34 (1871).
(156.) Esbeck, supra note 154, at 600-01; see, e.g., Thomas v. Review Bd., 450 U.S. 707, 715-16 (1981) (finding that it is not within the judicial function or competence to interpret religious texts to decide proper belief within a certain religious sect); Md. & Va. Eldership of Churches of God v. Church of God at Sharpsburg, 396 U.S. 367, 368 (1970) (per curiam) (avoiding inquiry into religious doctrine).
(157.) Esbeck, supra note 154, at 600-01; see, e.g., Serbian E. Orthodox Diocese v. Milivojevich, 426 U.S. 696, 708-09 (1976) (civil courts may not abrogate church judicatory decision in ecclesiastical disputes); Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral, 344 U.S. 94, 116 (1952) (religious organizations have the power to decide matters of church government for themselves).
(158.) Esbeck, supra note 154, at 600-01; see, e.g., Scharon v. St. Luke's Episcopal Presbyterian Hosps., 929 F.2d 360, 363 (8th Cir. 1991) (the Free Exercise Clause forbids judicial "second-guessing of decision-making by religious organizations," especially in the context of decisions by religious organizations affecting the clergy).
(159.) Esbeck, supra note 154, at 600-01; see Watson, 80 U.S. at 733.
(160.) Perry Dane, "Omalous" Autonomy, 2004 BYU L. Rev. 1715, 1734-35; see, e.g., Werft v. Desert Sw. Annual Conference of United Methodist Church, 377 F.3d 1099, 1100-01 (9th Cir. 2004); Alicea-Hernandez v. Catholic Bishop, 320 F.3d 698, 702-03 (7th Cir. 2003); Gellington v. Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Inc., 203 F.3d 1299, 1302-04 (11th Cir. 2000).
(161.) Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, 240 (1976).
(162.) See supra note 66 and accompanying text.
(163.) Posting of Douglas Laycock to religionlaw, http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg08083.html (May 27, 2009, 15:07:59 EST) [hereinafter Laycock, religionlaw].
(164.) Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1944.
(165.) Laycock, religionlaw, supra note 163. Intentional discrimination is known as disparate treatment, whereas disparate impact is defined as "practices that are not intended to discriminate but in fact have a disproportionately adverse effect on minorities." Ricci v. DeStefano, 129 S. Ct. 2658, 2672 (2009).
(166.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1948-49 (emphasis added).
(167.) Id. at 1942-44.
(168.) Laycock, Church Autonomy, supra note 135.
(170.) See Laycock, religionlaw, supra note 163.
(171.) 426 U.S. 229 (1976). This case is cited in the "discriminatory purpose" passage of Iqbal's decision. See Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1948 (citing Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520, 540-41 (1993) (First Amendment); Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, 240 (1976) (Fifth Amendment)).
(172.) Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949.
(173.) Posting of Ira (Chip) Lupu to religionlaw, http://email@example.com/msg08081.html (May 27, 2009, 11:47:07 EST).
(175.) Johnson v. Fankell, 520 U.S. 911, 914-15 (1997); see also supra notes 26-28 and accompanying text.
(176.) See Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 532 ("At a minimum, the protections of the Free Exercise Clause pertain if the law at issue discriminates against some or all religious beliefs or regulates or prohibits conduct because it is undertaken for religious reasons.").
(177.) See Johnson, 520 U.S. at 915.
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|Publication:||Missouri Law Review|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2010|
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