Law.com - Religious Accommodation Dispute Over Mock Trial ScheduleResolved
paul.finkelman at yahoo.com
Sat May 9 20:44:22 PDT 2009
I find the argument below someone bewildering?
"but the situation can't be avoided without giving every religious
belief veto power."
it is not exactly like there are millions of faiths out there which veto every day of the week! At most this would limit competition on Friday, Sat.. and Sunday for people of faith. Is it so hard to start the competition Sunday night and run Monday-Wed/ Or run from Tues to Friday? The arguments below are typical of a majority that is insensitive to any minorities and has the power to ignore their needs.
President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
Albany Law School
80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
pfink at albanylaw.edu
On Behalf Of Anthony Decinque [anthony.decinque at gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2009 8:20 AM
To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics
Subject: Re: Law.com - Religious Accommodation Dispute Over Mock Trial
But as someone who has participated in many mock trial tournaments, including
the National (College) Tournament, the board's decision seems like the best
thing. Teams travel from around the country to attend the tournament. The
fund-raising that is required to attend is a massive undertaking - as captain of
my team, I remember spending hours pleading with the University and with donors.
We put on "exhibition" trials and tried anything else we could think
of to raise money. High school and college students also miss school to attend.
To go through that trouble and then find out that, because of the religious
beliefs of another team, your team has to either (1) come back another weekend,
or (2) change hotels/flights and stay an extra day, is unreasonable.
No one can claim that they were surprised that the the tournament extends to
the sabbath. That has been the schedule for decades.
I feel sorry for the students that had to forfeit. I remember facing a team
who told us that they would have to forfeit if they beat us because they
couldn't compete on the sabbath. (We solved that problem by beating them..)
But I don't think that this has much to do with Smith because I think the
decision is correct under a pre-Smith regime as well. If anything, it supports
Smith because now we know that a judge is not going to second-guess the decision
of the people who have managed this tournament for decades. I'm afraid that
your a-b-c formula below is just a fact of life. We should avoid the situation
when we can--the board should change the date if it's feasible, for
example--but the situation can't be avoided without giving every religious
belief veto power.
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