Basketball tournaments on the Sabbath

Douglas Laycock dlaycock at virginia.edu
Fri Mar 2 16:19:01 PST 2012


It would look less like a discrimination claim and more like an exemption claim. Judges tend to naively assume that the calendar is a neutral set of rules, and the sharply different treatment of Sunday and Saturday here would make it more obvious than usual that that just isn't true.

By the way, I was confused about chronology. The complaint was filed, and TAPPS caved, yesterday. There was another story in the Times this morning. Haven't heard the score of the game.

On Fri, 2 Mar 2012 23:11:44 +0000
 "Finkelman, Paul <paul.finkelman at albanylaw.edu>"	<Paul.Finkelman at albanylaw.edu> wrote:
>I am guessing that the leaders of this organization never dreamed of a Jewish basketball team going to the finals.  They never heard of Dolph Shayes or Nancy Lieberman.
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>More seriously:  If the organization (which includes many Christian schools) played games on Sundays, would the Hebrew high school be in a weaker position?
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>*************************************************
>Paul Finkelman, Ph.D.
>President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
>Albany Law School
>80 New Scotland Avenue
>Albany, NY 12208
>
>518-445-3386 (p)
>518-445-3363 (f)
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>paul.finkelman at albanylaw.edu<mailto:paul.finkelman at albanylaw.edu>
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>________________________________
>From: religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu [religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] on behalf of Ira Lupu [iclupu at law.gwu.edu]
>Sent: Friday, March 02, 2012 6:03 PM
>To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics
>Subject: Re: Basketball tournaments on the Sabbath
>
>Today's first semi-final: Houston Beren 58, Dallas Covenant 46 -- final is after sundown tomorrow evening.
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>Thanks, Doug.
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>On Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 5:48 PM, Ed Darrell <edarrell at sbcglobal.net<mailto:edarrell at sbcglobal.net>> wrote:
>If your position is utterly untenable as a matter of public relations, it may not matter that the other side’s state action theory is very weak. But they had to file the lawsuit before common sense could prevail.
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>One more demonstration of the value of lawyers.  Good news that they've scheduled the game to fit it in.  Good, good news.
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>Ed Darrell
>Dallas
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>________________________________
>From: Alan Brownstein <aebrownstein at ucdavis.edu<mailto:aebrownstein at ucdavis.edu>>
>To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics <religionlaw at lists.ucla.edu<mailto:religionlaw at lists.ucla.edu>>
>Sent: Fri, March 2, 2012 3:35:05 PM
>Subject: RE: Basketball tournaments on the Sabbath
>
>A somewhat  similar lawsuit was litigated by students attending the Portland Adventist Academy (and their parents) against the Oregon State Activities Association which is a state actor. After 8 years of litigation, the students succeeded in their state anti-discrimination claims. See Nakashima v. Bd. Of Educ., 334 Or. 487 (2008)
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>Alan Brownstein
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>From: religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu<mailto:religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu> [mailto:religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu<mailto:religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu>] On Behalf Of Douglas Laycock
>Sent: Friday, March 02, 2012 11:48 AM
>To: 'Law & Religion issues for Law Academics'
>Subject: Basketball tournaments on the Sabbath
>
>Some of you may have seen the story in the Times the other day about the Beren Hebrew Academy in Houston, whose basketball team has reached the state semi-finals of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools tournament. The semifinal game was scheduled for tonight; the Academy is Orthodox and observant, and could not play.  The other school was willing to reschedule, but the TAPPS Board voted 8-0 not to allow that. Most TAPPS members are church affiliated, and as a matter of policy, it never schedules games on Sunday.
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>Beren parents and students filed a lawsuit this morning in the Northern District of Texas, alleging unconstitutional religious discrimination, Texas RFRA, and breach of contract (based on a provision in the TAPPS bylaws). The complaint’s state action theory was that the game was scheduled to be played in a public school gym, which is surely not enough. The contract claim looked stronger, judging only by the complaint.
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>Richard Friedman at Michigan tells me that TAPPS caved as soon as the complaint was filed, and that the game will begin imminently and will be completed before sunset.  If your position is utterly untenable as a matter of public relations, it may not matter that the other side’s state action theory is very weak. But they had to file the lawsuit before common sense could prevail.
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>Douglas Laycock
>Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law
>University of Virginia Law School
>580 Massie Road
>Charlottesville, VA  22903
>     434-243-8546<tel:434-243-8546>
>
>
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>--
>Ira C. Lupu
>F. Elwood & Eleanor Davis Professor of Law
>George Washington University Law School
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>Washington, DC 20052
>(202)994-7053
>My SSRN papers are here:
>http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=181272#reg

Douglas Laycock
Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law
University of Virginia Law School
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA  22903
     434-243-8546


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