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Justices’ positions in ADL Cases (1993-2007)
NEWSLETTER: ADL in the Courts
  
Discrimination


U.S. Supreme Court

Fisher v. University of Texas (U.S. Supreme Court 2012)

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (U.S. Supreme Court, 2011)
This case concerns the scope and procedural treatment of a constitutional exception to employment discrimination laws – called the “ministerial exception” – for houses of worship and other religious institutions. That exception, grounded in the First Amendment, allows religious institutions to discriminate in the hiring of clergy, religious school teachers, and others engaged in core religious functions. ADL took the position that the exception should not apply to employees of such religious institutions who are not engaged in core religious functions; those employees should be covered by basic anti-discrimination laws. Hosanna involved an employee who fell in between – a teacher of secular subjects in a religious school who also engaged in some limited religious activities. ADL’s brief, filed in support of respondents, argued that the exception should be treated as an “affirmative defense.” As a result, an employee would have an opportunity to make her case that she should be covered by anti-discrimination laws, and not have her claims immediately dismissed because she works for a religious institution. The ultimate burden would then be on the employer to prove that the ministerial exception applies. In its decision, the Court agreed that employees of religious organizations who believe they are victims of discrimination may assert their claims in court, and shifted the burden onto the religious institution.
PDF 141 kb


Zivotofsky v. Clinton
(U.S. Supreme Court, 2011)
This case involves the right of American citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their place of birth on their passports, rather than just "Jerusalem." Despite a 2002 law directing the Secretary of State, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen's legal guardian, to record the place of birth as Israel, the State Department manual currently provides that the passports of American citizens born in Jerusalem must say "Jerusalem," reflecting official U.S. government policy regarding the unresolved status of Jerusalem. Before addressing the merits of the case, the State Department argued that the subject matter was inappropriate for court resolution as it is a "political question." ADL led a coalition of ten Jewish organizations, in addition to the Association of Proud American Citizens Born in Jerusalem, Israel, in filing an amicus brief which argued that the matter was not a political question and is appropriate for court resolution. The brief also argued that Americans born in Jerusalem should have the same right to indicate their country of birth on their passport that is currently available to other American citizens born abroad. The Court agreed with the League and rejected the argument that the issue at hand was a "political question" inappropriate for court resolution, directing the case back to the lower court for review on the merits.
PDF 160 kb



Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting (U.S. Supreme Court, 2010)
In 2008, Arizona enacted the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which mandates all employers operating in the state to use E-Verify, a temporary and voluntary federal program that allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees, but which is controversial for its inaccuracies and possible discriminatory effect. The Ninth Circuit upheld the law. ADL joined a coalition of civil rights and labor organizations in filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerces challenge to law, arguing that the law is preempted in that it frustrates Congress intent to balance discrimination concerns with control of illegal immigration.  
PDF 213 kb


Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (U.S. Supreme Court, 2010)
This case concerns a state law school - the University of California, Hastings College of Law - which denied recognition to a religious student organization because the group refused to abide by the school’s anti-discrimination policy.  The group insisted that it had a right to limit its membership to those willing to sign a religious pledge and to exclude all gay students.  ADL’s brief supported the school asserting that the school was within its rights to insist that any club supported by student fees had to be open to all students.  The brief argued that a decision in favor of an exemption from the policy could have significant ramifications for anti-discrimination laws in the employment context, expressing particular concern about whether it might open the door to discrimination by organizations that receive government funds as part of the Faith Based Initiative.  PDF 267 kb


Lewis v. Chicago (U.S. Supreme Court, 2009)
This case concerns a lower court ruling which dramatically limited the time within victims of workplace discrimination can file a claim.  Specifically, the case involved firefighters who wanted to challenge a promotions test they thought was racially discriminatory.  A lower court ruled their complaint was not timely and that they had to file a lawsuit within 300 days of getting the test results.  The firefighters claimed that they should be permitted to file a lawsuit within 300 days of the time the fire department made hiring decisions based upon those test results.  ADL joined a coalition of civil rights groups in an amicus brief arguing that each time a discriminatory practice is used, it has an impact on employees individually and on the community and so litigants must have appropriate access to the courts to ensure that such practices are ended, not enshrined. PDF 308 kb


Ricci v. DeStefano: This case was brought by white firefighters in New Haven after the City threw out the results of an exam to determine who would be promoted to lieutenant in the Fire Department because the results yielded that no African-Americans would be promoted. The City claimed that if it didn't, it would be subject to a lawsuit by African-American fire fighters. The white firefighters sued, claiming racial discrimination. In an amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting neither side, ADL asserted that the lower courts' scrutiny of New Haven's race-based action was inadequate, and suggested that the court look to certain similarly-defended voting rights cases.PDF 121 kb


CBOCS West Inc. v. Humphries (2008). Hedrick Humphries, an African-American associate manager at a Cracker Barrel restaurant, alleged that he was fired because he complained about his supervisor's racially discriminatory behavior. The Court will consider whether 42 U.S.C. ? 1981 (“Section 1981”), which protects the rights of all Americans to enter into contracts regardless of race, prohibits retaliation for complaining about such discrimination. ADL joined with the nearly 200 organizations that comprise the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and urged the Court to find that such retaliation, by definition, deprives the victim of the benefits of a contractual relationship. PDF 143 kb

Parents Involved v Seattle and Meredith v Kentucky (U.S. Supreme Court, 2006). The Seattle, Washington and Louisville, Kentucky school districts, in order to ensure integrated and diverse schools, use race as a limited factor in assigning students among their elementary and secondary public schools. ADL's amicus curiae brief urges the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold these voluntary school desegregation plans – programs the League believes are justified "not only by a compelling interest in desegregation, but also by a compelling interest in promoting racial diversity in the educational setting." PDF 1000 kb

Grutter v. Bollinger (2003): Grutter v. Bollinger concerns the constitutionality of racial preferences in undergraduate and law school admissions system of the University of Michigan. While recognizing the fundamental value of diversity in higher education, ADL stated its opposition to the University of Michigan's admissions programs to achieve that goal. PDF 152 kb

Lawrence v. Texas (2003): This case raises the twin questions whether Texas' Homosexual Conduct Law violates the Equal Protection Clause or the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. ADL joined with a number of other organizations to argue that the Texas law violates is unconstitutionally because it seeks to illegitimate and irrational to punish and brand as criminals a class of citizens because of their sexual orientation PDF 164 kb

Alexander v. Sandoval (121 S. Ct. 1511 (2001)): The question at issue in this case was whether or not the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gives private citizens the right to challenge policies that have the effect of discriminating against minorities but not necessarily the intent to do so. As amicus curiae, ADL maintained that Title VII was intended to prevent discrimination without creating the burden of proving discriminatory intent. Unfortunately, the Court held that private citizens have a legal recourse only in instances of intentional discrimination. PDF 5,076 kb

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (530 US 640 (2000)): In a 5-4 decision, the Court upheld the Boy Scouts of America's membership policy that discriminated against gay members. ADL, together with a coalition of other organizations, argued that the exclusionary anti-gay membership policy that the Boy Scouts defended fell outside the scope of any associational or expressive freedom protected by the First Amendment. PDF 235 kb

Romer v. Evans (517 U.S. 620 (1996)): The Court, in a 6-3 decision, struck down an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that singled out homosexual and bisexual people and denied them the right to seek and receive specific legal protection from discrimination. ADL, together with six other civil rights organizations, successfully argued that this amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. PDF 165 kb

Miller v. Johnson (515 U.S. 900 (1995)): This case concerned Georgia's redistricting plan and the creation of the Eleventh Congressional District. ADL successfully argued that when race is the substantial or motivating factor in redistricting, strict scrutiny is compelled under the Equal Protection Clause. The Court ultimately ruled that the Georgia legislature's racial gerrymandering of the congressional redistricting process was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. PDF 145 kb

Shaare Tefila Congregation v. Cobb (481 U.S. 615 (1987)): The question at issue in this case was whether or not the Civil Rights Act of 1964 can be invoked by white, as well as non-white, victims of racially-motivated discrimination. In its brief, ADL successfully maintained that members of all minority and ethnic groups, including religious minorities, should be guaranteed protection under the Act. PDF 1,400 kb

United Steel Workers of America v. Weber (443 U.S. 193 (1979)): This case questioned the constitutionality of race-based quotas implemented by a company to determine eligibility for its training program. As amicus curiae, ADL argued that such quotas discriminated against applicants solely on the basis of their race. The Court, however, held that a private employer is free to voluntarily adopt a race-based quota system for its training program. PDF 1,941 kb

The Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (438 U.S. 265 (1978)): This case questioned the constitutionality of a medical school's decision to create a quota of seats in each class for non-white students. As amicus curiae, ADL maintained that such a quota policy discriminates against applicants and, as a result, violates the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court agreed that race-based quotas were unconstitutional, but held that race can be considered as a criterion in the admissions process. PDF 1,888 kb

Runyon v. McCrary (427 U.S. 160 (1976)): The question at issue in this case was whether or not the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits private schools that receive no government funding from discriminating against applicants on the basis of race. In its brief, ADL successfully maintained that private schools operate on the basis of contractual relationships between the school and its students and, as such, are proscribed from engaging in discriminatory practices by the Act. PDF 1,484 kb

DeFunis v. Odegaard (416 U.S. 312 (1974)): The question at issue in this case was whether or not a law school could constitutionally establish different standards for white and non-white applicants. In its brief, ADL argued that such standards discriminate against applicants solely on the basis of their race and, as a result, violated the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court never reached a decision on the merits of this controversy because the case was dismissed as moot (the student who filed the original complaint had subsequently been admitted to the law school). PDF 1,553 kb

Moose Lodge No. 107 v. Irvis (407 U.S. 163 (1972)): This case questioned the constitutionality of discriminatory policies, specifically the restriction of membership by private clubs to those of a particular race and/or religion. As amicus curiae, ADL maintained that these clubs receive state aid in the form of liquor licenses and other such benefits and, as a result, cannot engage in discriminatory activities. Unfortunately, the Court disagreed with this argument and held that private clubs are free to implement discriminatory policies as long as they do not receive any government funding. PDF 1,612 kb


U.S. Courts of Appeals


Windsor v. U.S. (2d Cir. 2012)
In 2007, Edith "Edie" Windsor and Thea Spyer, residents of New York, married in Toronto, Ontario, after 40 years of romantic partnership. Spyer died in 2009, at which time New York legally recognized same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. After Spyer's death, Windsor was required to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance. If federal law accorded their marriage the same status as marriages of opposite sex couples recognized by their state, she would have paid no taxes. The lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Joining the ADL on the brief was a distinguished group of 14 religious and cultural organizations, representing many different faith traditions and cultures. The brief argues that religious views of marriage are distinct and separate from a civil understanding of marriage; DOMA flouts this longstanding Establishment Clause principle by not only writing one particular religious understanding of marriage into federal law but by failing to provide a secular reason for doing so.  The brief also argues that DOMA fails to satisfy equal protection and due process constitutional analyses. The brief was prepared for ADL by the New York Office of Ropes & Gray LLP.


Zivotofsky v. Clinton
(D.C. District Court of Appeals 2012)
This case involves the right of American citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their place of birth on their passports, rather than just "Jerusalem." Despite a 2002 law directing the Secretary of State, upon the request of the citizen or the citizenęs legal guardian, to record the place of birth as Israel, the State Department manual currently provides that the passports of American citizens born in Jerusalem must say "Jerusalem," reflecting official U.S. government policy regarding the unresolved status of Jerusalem. Following the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court directing the case back to the lower court for review on the merits, ADL again led an unusually broad-based coalition of other Jewish organizations, in addition to the Association of Proud American Citizens Born in Jerusalem, Israel, in filing an amicus brief which argued that "a passport is not a statement of foreign policy," but rather simply involves a ministerial act "a means of identifying and differentiating citizens" based on information they provide. Therefore the statute does not implicate the Executive Branch's foreign policy power and it was within the power of Congress to legislate regarding the issuance of passports. ADL also argued that denying Jerusalem-born American citizens to identify Israel as their place of birth on their passports is discriminatory as that is a right presently accorded to American citizens born in territories not even recognized by the United States.



Golinkski v. US Office of Personnel Management (9th Cir. 2012).  Karen Golinski was denied spousal health benefits by her employer, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. In January 2009, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski ruled that to deny the legally married Golinski the same benefits for her wife, Amy Cunninghis, as heterosexual court employees receive for their lawful spouses violated the Ninth Circuit’s employment policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. The federal Office of Personal Management—an agency of the executive branch—responded that the law governing federal employees’ health insurance and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevent coverage for the spouses of lesbian and gay federal employees, and instructed Golinski’s insurer not to enroll Cunninghis. Plaintiff sued the federal government to compel it to stop interfering with the orders of the federal appellate court’s chief judge so that Golinski can be provided equal benefits for her wife. On February 22, 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White declared DOMA unconstitutional as applied to Karen Golinski. The US Office of Personnel Management appealed. Defendants are appealing a February 2012 California District court decision invalidating Section 3 of the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), a discriminatory and unconstitutional law passed in 1996.
Joining the ADL on the brief was a distinguished group of 23 religious and cultural organizations, representing many different faith traditions and cultures. The brief argues that religious views of marriage are distinct and separate from a civil understanding of marriage; DOMA flouts this longstanding Establishment Clause principle by not only writing one particular religious understanding of marriage into federal law but by failing to provide a secular reason for doing so.  The brief also argues that DOMA fails to satisfy equal protection and due process constitutional analyses.

Massachusetts v. HHS and Hara, Gill, et al. v. OPM (U.S.C.A. First Circuit, 2011)
Defendants are appealing a July 2010 Massachusetts district court decision invalidating Section 3 of the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), a discriminatory and unconstitutional law passed in 1996.  The District Court’s decision provided equal protection under the law to all civilly married couples – including same-sex couples – and empowered religious groups with the freedom to choose how to define marriage. Joining the League on the brief was a distinguished group of 21 religious organizations, representing many different faith traditions and cultures. The brief argues that religious views of marriage are distinct and separate from a civil understanding of marriage; DOMA flouts this longstanding Establishment Clause principle by not only writing one particular religious understanding of marriage into federal law but by failing to provide a secular reason for doing so.  The brief also argues that DOMA fails to satisfy equal protection and due process constitutional analyses. PDF 150KB


Perry v. Shwarzenegger (9th Circuit, 2010) PDF 85KB

Spencer v. World Vision, Inc. (9th Circuit, en banc, 2010)
This case was brought by three employees of World Vision, an evangelical Christian relief agency, who were terminated because their religious viewpoints were in conflict with the agency. As part of its argument, the Plaintiff argued that because World Vision accepted government funding, it could not be a religious corporation entitled to a Title VII exemption. The District Court, and the 9th Circuit, ruled that World Vision had the right to fire the workers based on their religious viewpoint because the organization was a religious corporation and was therefore entitled to an exemption from Title VII. In its ruling, the court broadly concluded that World Visions receipt of government funding was immaterial to whether World Vision can avail itself of the exemption. ADL joined a coalition in arguing to the en banc panel that the question of whether the acceptance of government funding prohibits an organization from qualifying for the religious corporations exception is a significant issue that should be given careful consideration. PDF 85KB

Doe v. Vermillion (5th Circuit, 2010). A public middle school in Vermillion Parish, Louisiana separated male and female students into single-sex classes for all core academic subjects.  In assessing whether this student classification was constitutional, the district court inquired whether the program “would be in the best interest of the children” and whether the classification was intended to “harm” the children, rather than applying the longstanding application of heightened scrutiny to sex-based classifications. ADL joined a coalition of civil rights organizations that the district court erred in its unusual ruling and that strong constitutional protections must apply to sex-based classifications. PDF 306KB

Tenenbaum v Ashcroft (Sixth Circuit 2009). David Tenenbaum was accused of being an Israeli spy and was subjected to an eight-year period of invasive investigations conducted by numerous government agencies, not one of which resulted in espionage charges or a criminal prosecution. After investigating, the Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) concluded that, “[b]ut for Mr. Tenenbaum’s religion, the investigations would likely have taken a different course.” Unfortunately, Mr. Tenenbaum’s lawsuit against the government was thrown out (twice) because the lower court accepted the government’s claim that state secrets would be at issue in the trial. Based on the OIG report, Mr. Tenenbaum refilled his lawsuit, and again had it rejected. On appeal from this latest rejection, ADL argued that Mr. Tenenbaum should be given his day in court and explained to the court that the age-old anti-Semitic canard of “dual loyalty” ? here, the charge that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the Untied States ? may have been at play. ADL provided examples of how this canard has been applied to the Jewish people and showed how adherence to the dual loyalty stereotype, particularly in government-dominated fields such as the military and the intelligence community, has resulted in a pattern of discrimination against American Jews. PDF 156KB


Harris v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore (4th Circuit, 2009)
This Title VII sexual harassment case concerns the standards for proving a hostile work environment claim.  ADL joined a coalition of civil rights organizations in an amicus brief arguing, among other things, that courts may consider many factors when evaluating the severity or pervasiveness of harassing conduct and that under the law, conduct does not have to be physical in nature to be actionable, nor does it have to be directed specifically at the victim.  The brief also explained that the new, heightened standard the district court created would enable employers to ignore workplace harassment with impunity, and discussed the reasoning behind the established hostile environment standards. PDF 100 kb


David Parker v. William Hurley (1st Circuit) This case centers on the question of whether an elementary curriculum concerning different types of people and families, including families with parents of the same gender, violates a parent's constitutional right to privacy, to raise their children, and the free exercise of religion. ADL's amicus brief argues that teaching about diversity is reasonably related to the school's goal of preparing students to be productive members of today's multi-cultural society and that teachings which contradict a parent's religious beliefs do not necessarily violate the parents' First Amendment rights. PDF 63 kb



Christian Legal Society v Hastings Law School (9th Cir. 2006).
In a case pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, ADL has filed an amicus brief arguing that a school-recognized Christian law student group at publicly-funded university should not, because of its members’ religious beliefs, be permitted to deny gays and lesbians membership or officer positions in their club. PDF 1000 kb

State Courts

Lewis v. Harris (New Jersey Supreme Court, 2010)
In 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that committed same-sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes. The Court ordered the Legislature to create a system for marriage that was equal and the Legislature responded by enacting the Civil Union Law. Plaintiffs have now returned to the New Jersey Supreme Court arguing that civil union is unequal to marriage. ADL joined a coalition of civil rights and minority rights organizations in support of the Plaintiffs arguing that historically, courts have discarded systems of achieving equality through parallel structures when they discover the systems have not achieved the intended results. PDF 397 Kb

Pepose Vision v. Fleshner (Missouri Supreme Court, 2009).
This case centers on shocking allegations by two jurors that fellow jury members used viciously anti-Semitic slurs, including “penny pinching Jew,” “Jewish bitch” and “cheap Jew,” to describe two key Jewish defense witnesses. The jury then returned a verdict against the defendant. Saying anti-Semitism “is vile, shocks the conscience, and has no place in our system of justice,” ADL's brief argued that while American law has always protected the sanctity of jury deliberations, basic notions of justice, fairness and due process of law require that a verdict resulting from the bias or prejudice of the jury cannot be permitted stand.
The Missouri Supreme Court agreed and held that the trial court erred when it did not grant an evidentiary hearing on the possible bias in the jury room. PDF 817 Kb


Shoreline Towers v. Gassman
(lllinois Appellate Court, First District)
Debra Gassman's determination to fight for her right to display her mezuzah on the doorpost of her condominium led directly to a change in the law prohibiting condominium associations from interfering with the religious practices of residents. Unfortunately, her actions appear to have prompted the condominium association to file what ADL believes was a retaliatory lawsuit. The Anti-Defamation League filed a friend of the court brief Illinois Appellate Court, urging the court to protect her from the lawsuit. Specifically, ADL's amicus brief argued that Ms. Gassman's actions were protected by the Illinois Citizen Participation Act (a so-called “anti-SLAPP” statute). This new statute, which ADL also supported, is intended to ensure that individuals will not be intimidated by the threat of retaliatory litigation from bringing legitimate challenges to discriminatory practices. ADL had also filed a brief in this case on the trial level in the Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court. The Court agreed with ADL and held Ms. Gassman’s actions were protected from suit. PDF 85 Kb


Newfield Central School District v. NY State Division of Human Rights (New York Appellate, Third Department 2009). 
Newfield Central School District has argued that, as a public school district, it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the New York Human Rights Division  or the New York State Human Rights Law. ADL joined a coalition of national and local civil rights organizations in an amicus brief arguing that the Law covers all educational settings, and makes no distinction between public and private schools. PDF 4,070 Kb


Strauss v. Horton (California Supreme Court, 2009) In November 2008, California voters approved Proposition 8, a ballot measure that sought to amend the California Constitution to hold that marriage is between a man and a woman. ADL joined a group of civil rights organizations in filing an amicus brief challenging the validity Proposition 8. The brief argued that the measure is a constitutional revision, rather than a constitutional amendment, as it seeks to revise the Equal Protection Clause, and that a constitutional revision requires 2/3 vote of both houses of the legislature before it is taken to the people for a vote. PDF 1,672 Kb


NY State Division of Human Rights v. East Meadow Union Free School District (New York Appellate, Second Department 2008). A determination was made by the New York Human Rights Division that East Meadow Union Free School District violated New York State Human Rights Law ("Law") when it refused to accommodate a student with a disability. The school district argued that, as a public school district, it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Division or the Law. ADL joined a coalition of national and local civil rights organizations in an amicus brief arguing that the Law covers all educational settings, and makes no distinction between public and private schools. PDF 3 Mb

Nebraska v Henderson (Nebraska Supreme Court 2008). A Nebraska state police officer, who was fired after it was discovered he was a member of the White Knights (a Ku Klux Klan group) and had posted messages to their website, challenged his termination based on the First Amendment.  ADL, which has a long history of working closely with law enforcement in the fight against extremism, filed a brief in support of the State arguing that public confidence in law enforcement would be severely undermined by the presence of a Klan member on the force.  The brief also argued that opposing discrimination is well-established public policy. The Court agreed that a reinstatement would violate Nebraska’s explicit public policy of enforcing the law without discrimination on the basis of the race of its citizens. PDF 957 Kb


Shoreline v Gassman (Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court 2008). Debra Gassman's determination to fight for her right to display her mezuzah on the doorpost of her condominium led directly to a change in the law prohibiting condominium associations from interfering with the religious practices of residents. Unfortunately, her actions appear to have prompted the condominium association to file what ADL believes was a retaliatory lawsuit. The Anti-Defamation League filed a friend of the court brief in Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court, urging the court to protect her from the lawsuit. Specifically, ADL's amicus brief argued that Ms. Gassman's actions were protected by the Illinois Citizen Participation Act (a so-called “anti-SLAPP” statute). This new statute, which ADL also supported, is intended to ensure that individuals will not be intimidated by the threat of retaliatory litigation from bringing legitimate challenges to discriminatory practices. PDF 60Kb

Cutler v. Dorn (New Jersey 2007) . This case involves a Jewish police officer from Haddonfield, NJ, who claimed that other police officers' anti-Semitic remarks and actions created a hostile work environment. ADL's letter amicus brief in support of the police officer urged the New Jersey Supreme Court to reverse that part of the intermediate appellate court's decision which dismissed several anti-Semitic comments made by the officer's supervisor and co-workers as “mere teasing.” The brief argued that the use of the term ‘teasing’ with regard to derogatory comments like ‘dirty Jew’ and ‘Jews make all the money’ failed to capture the true harm these remarks were meant to convey. The New Jersey Supreme Court agreed with the League's position and held the use of the term teasing “undervalues the invidiousness of these stereotypic references and demeaning comments.”. The Court further affirmed that the threshold for demonstrating a religion-based discriminatory hostile work environment cannot be any more stringent than that which applies to sexually or racially hostile workplace environment claims. PDF 833 Kb

In re Marriage Cases (2007). This case concerns equal access to marriage for same-sex couples in California. ADL argues, among other things, that the denial of the right to marry for same-sex couples is a denial of the right to privacy under California law. Unlike married heterosexual couples, same-sex couples find themselves repeatedly required to disclose their domestic partnership relationship in order to exercise comparable rights. This violation of privacy can lead to violence, discrimination and indignity. PDF 1, 378 Kb


Hernandez v. Robles (New York 2006). This case concerns equal access to civil marriage for same-sex couples in New York. ADL joined a number of other civil rights and public interest organizations to argue, among other things, that the denial of the right to marry for same-sex couples is a denial of due process and the equal protection of the state's laws. PDF 1, 138 Kb

Catholic Charities v. Serio (NY Court of Appeals 2006) This case deals with New York's Women's Health & Wellness Act which requires employers that provide group insurance coverage for prescriptions to include prescription contraceptives in that coverage. The statute includes a limited exception for religious employers. ADL joined a number of other organizations to argue, among other things, that the WHWA is necessary to end gender discrimination and to preserve reproductive rights in New York State. PDF 206 Kb


Benitez v. North Coast Women's Care Medical Group, Inc. (California 2005) This discrimination case concerns a woman who was denied a standard infertility treatment by her physicians based on her sexual orientation and their religious beliefs. ADL joined a number of other organizations to argue, among other things, that the physicians' federal and state constitutional rights of religious freedom do not allow them to ignore a California state civil rights law that forbids discrimination on various bases, including sexual orientation, by "business establishments." PDF 2.2 mb

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Justices' Positions in Supreme Court Discrimination Cases
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