Religious discrimination and deportation: Supreme Court tackles high-profile issues this week

In addition to the Elonis case regarding threatening statements made on social media (which we discussed yesterday) the Supreme Court issued other decisions this week in high-profile cases. These include EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch and Mellouli v. LynchWe covered the arguments in Mellouli in January. To recap, the case involved a permanent resident who pleaded guilty to possessing drug paraphernalia (a sock with Adderrall in it) under a state statute that did not mention a controlled substance. He was ordered removed from the U.S. under a federal statute that provided for removal of non-citizens who violated state laws regarding controlled substances as defined in federal law. After evaluating the federal and state statutes in question, the Court found yesterday that the non-citizen's drug paraphernalia conviction did not merit deportation. SCOTUS Blog provides detailed analysis of the Court's opinion.

Abercrombie dealt with issues of accommodating religious practices in employment, and involved a Muslim woman who had brought a discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act against the retailer for failing to hire her because she wore a headscarf in violation of the store's policy regarding head coverings. The Court reversed the decision of the appellate court, finding that Abercrombie & Fitch could be held liable for failing to provide a religious accommodation. For full details, see the opinion analysis from SCOTUS Blog.

Several other important decisions are expected from the Court this month, including a ruling on the Affordable Care Act in King v. Burwell and on same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Photo credit: Daderot via Wikipedia.