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Mills Legal Clinic of Stanford Law School
Mills Legal Clinic of Stanford Law School

News from the Religious Liberty Clinic

Congratulations to all in the Religious Liberty Clinic on the latest accomplishments of several students, as highlighted below.

Nick Landsman-Roos (’13) and Aren Balabanian (’13) wrote an amicus brief on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism and Foundation for Jewish Camp and in support of a faith-based recreational camp in Wisconsin. The brief concerns the harm caused to religious assemblies by an unduly narrow interpretation of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). Nick and Aren argue local governments should not be permitted to avoid liability under RLUIPA for excluding religious assemblies from their midst by hiding behind state zoning arrangements.

Eric Hamilton (’13), Nick Landsman-Roos (’13), and Manuel Possolo (’13) successfully resolved a dispute with a local school district involving “released-time” instruction. California law authorizes public schools to adopt “released-time” programs, where students may periodically leave school an hour early to receive instruction in the religion of their choice. The chief purpose of the law is to accommodate parents who believe religious instruction should form an integral part of a child’s school schedule. Late last year, the Anti-Defamation League contacted the clinic, asking it to represent a single mother who wanted her daughter’s school to release her four times per month for Jewish education but whose request had been denied. After a lengthy and complex negotiation, Eric, Nick, and Manny convinced school officials of their client’s position and obtained full relief under the statute.

Finally, an article published yesterday about the Clinic’s efforts in a Florida case involving a prisoner’s request for a ritual circumcision references the excellent work that Paul Harold (’13) and Courtney Quiros (’14) have been doing on the case.

Jim Sonne directs the Religious Liberty Clinic. Jared Haynie serves as the Clinic’s Staff Attorney, and Nicole Riley is the Clinic’s Legal Assistant.

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