No lawyer left behind!

Blogging is going to be lighter than usual for the next few days, as I have to complete my 25 hours of mandatory Continuing Legal Education.


I see that I have been blogging so long that this is the second time my continuing education has interfered with my blogging.

Hearing about recent legal developments has a way of upsetting me, though (as it did two years ago to hear about California employment law).

Yesterday, one of the courses dealt with religious discrimination, and among the subjects was the nature of what it is that constitutes a bona fide religion.

I couldn't stop thinking about the "church" of Scientology. I don't think it is a religion, but legally, it either is or is not. If it is, there's something I find disturbing about the idea that if I ran a business I might have to hire a Scientologist if one applied.

Why is it that you can discriminate in employment against people who have political opinions that offend you, but not views of the unknown which offend you?

While the First Amendment would seem to protect political and opinions equally, it is silent on matters of discrimination, which we have fetishized beyond belief.

Anyway, my education continues. At the expense of my blogging!

MORE: Readers searching for views of the unknown (and who hate mortality) might want to read this "guest post from the long dead" which I copied and pasted the last time I faced execution by legal education.

posted by Eric on 01.29.08 at 11:24 AM


Speaking of California employment law, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of political opinion here, either.

Anthony   ·  January 29, 2008 6:15 PM

My understanding of the rule is that it is not generally illegal to discriminate on the basis of politics per se, but only for engaging in political activities. Which would mean that you could fire someone for being conservative or liberal, but not for membership in a party, gathering signatures, protesting, voting, etc.

Of course, what if the political views are offensive to other workers? Could they claim that this was a "Hostile Work Environment"?

If protecting political opinion goes far enough, I think employers could be placed in a double bind.

A political opinion could be both protected AND harassing!

Eric Scheie   ·  January 30, 2008 3:47 PM

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