Legal Briefs: Phoenix Temple, PA Church, Woman Arrested in Church

  • Residents of a Phoenix, Arizona neighborhood will have a meeting to discuss the height of the proposed Mormon Temple. Arizona Republic
  • LDS Church appears clear of legal hurdles to construct a new church in East Hempfield Township. Residents’ appeal was denied by county judge. Lancaster Online
  • Naked woman arrested inside an LDS meetinghouse in West Jordan, Utah. Deseret News

Legal Brief: LDS Church Nondiscrimination, Phoenix Temple Zoning Approved

  • The LDS Church declares its support of nondiscrimination regulations that would extend protection in matters of housing and employment to gays in Salt Lake City. LDS Newsroom
  • Statement from LDS church regarding Salt Lake City’s non-discrimination ordinance. Deseret News
  • Phoenix planning commission approves zoning changes for Mormon temple. Fox 10 AZ


  • Neighbor vs. Neighbor over Mormon Temple in Phoenix. Fox 10 AZ

Legal Briefs: Gilbert Temple, International Law Symposium, LDS Women in the Law

  • Gilbert, Arizona city council OK’s LDS Temple zoning changes. AZ Republic
  • 16th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium will be broadcast live today at 7pm from the Moot Court room of the J. Reuben Clark School of Law on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Click HERE to listen live.
  • Women in the Law: The Importance of Education for LDS Women. BYU Law

Legal Briefs: Judge Sotomayor, Big Love trademark violations, and more

  • Four BYU Law profs are among over a thousand signatories of a letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the confirmation of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Mormon Times.
  • The University of Utah has issued a cease and desist letter to HBO for violating the university’s trademark in a “Big Love” episode. Deseret News.
  • From the Wrong-Way-to-Do-Things Department, a New Zealand man beat his daughter in the head with a piece of cinder block after she refused to go to with him to his Mormon congregation. She won’t be going to church with him any time soon — he received a 12-month sentence for the offense. NZ Herald.
  • The Utah Bar Association is suing an LDS attorney who allegedly preyed on illegal immigrants and stole their money without providing immigration services. KUTV.com.
  • Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff reported in a radio interview that child bride marriages have all be halted in the state of Utah. KSL.com.

 Photo credit: talkradionews.

Legal Briefs: Former missionaries, SCOTUS, and the Christian Legal Society

  • A group of former LDS missionaries in Utah seek to foster dialogue among Mormons about about immigration and to repeal Utah SB81. Salt Lake Tribune
  • The AP has a round-up of the U.S. Supreme Court’s activity today. Associated Press
  • The Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law & Religious Freedom and the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom are appealing to the Ninth Circuit the Montana District Court decision upholding the Montana Law School’s refusal to recognize the Christian Legal Society based on its nondiscrimination and open membership policies. The J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s membership policies are distinct from those of CLS, but similar enough that this case is worth watching. Alliance Defense Fund Press Release
  • Benjamin Speakman was sentenced to 36 months of probation for weapons violations in his threat to enter the Jordan River Temple and kill people. Speakman admitted to cutting down the barrel of a 12 gauge shot gun that was not registered to him. He agreed to turn over the shotgun, a 9mm pistol, and an AK-47 to authorities.

Legal Briefs: Possible Vegas-Mormon Hate Crime, Online Commenters and More

  • Las Vegas metro police and the FBI are investigating a possible hate crime in east Las Vegas. Someone drew slurs in front of a family’s home that included “I hunt Mormons” and another one that indicated there was a bomb in the family’s van. KNTV
  • LDS Spokesperson Michael Otterson: “In a democracy, we justifiably set the bar pretty high for freedom of religious expression and conscience. But our societies enact and enforce laws against antisocial behavior or extreme actions that threaten others, without which our communities would collapse. When people choose to cross the line, they face the consequences.” Washington Post
  • Utah AG Mark Shurtleff’s proposed settlement with FLDS church. Religion Clause
  • Vegas paper gets subpeona to ID online commenters. The subpeona bears the name of U.S. Assistant District Attorney J. Gregory Damm; to which commenters replied that “socialist, fascist Mormon” and “Nazi moron”. Associated Press

Legal Briefs: Abraham Lincoln, Joseph Smith, Mitt Romney, Michael Steele

  • Backers of Gay Marriage Trumpet the Mormon Church’s work against it. Washington Post
  • LDS official response to California Supreme Court’s Prop 8 holding. The Church issued the following statement following the California Supreme Court Decision on Proposition 8:

    Today’s decision by the California Supreme Court is welcome. The issue the court decided was whether California citizens validly exercised their right to amend their own constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The court has overwhelmingly affirmed their action.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recognizes the deeply held feelings on both sides, but strongly affirms its belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The bedrock institution of marriage between a man and a woman has profound implications for our society. These implications range from what our children are taught in schools to individual and collective freedom of religious expression and practice.

    Accordingly, the Church stands firmly for what it believes is right for the health and well-being of society as a whole. In doing so, it once again affirms that all of us are children of God, and all deserve to be treated with respect. The Church believes that serious discussion of these issues is not helped when extreme elements on both sides of the debate demonize the other.

  • Readers defend Mitt Romney and Michael Steele over ‘Mormon comments’ US News and World Report

Legal Briefs: Obama nominates Sotomayor to High Court; Prop 8 upheld but performed marriages stand

  • This morning President Barack Obama nominated Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sylvia Sotomayor to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Judge Sotomayor has long been on the short list of potential nominees, and would be the first Justice of Latino heritage. Howard Friedman of Religion Clause already has a run-down of Judge Sotomayor’s religion decisions.
  • The California Supreme Court issued its ruling on the legal challenges to California Proposition 8, upholding the referendum but letting stand the approximately 18,000 gay marriages already performed in the state.

Legal Briefs: Huntsman to China, Blogs are Liberal, PBS doesn’t care for Christianity, Mormon swimmer causes drama in Myanmar

  • Obama makes it official, Utah’s Governor Huntsman is the United States Ambassador to China. Huntsman, 49, is fluent in Mandarin Chinese from his days as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taiwan. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to Singapore and as a deputy U.S. trade ambassador. Daily Herald.
  • A Brigham Young University survey of more than 200 journalists seems to indicate that news blogs seem to be “left leaning” and more popular than many conservative blogs….I think I could have told you that without the survey…good thing we’re here to give the blogosphere balance!
  • PBS is planning to kick out stations that broadcast ‘sectarian religious programs’, this includes KBYU. Yes, speech in America is free as long as you’re not a Christian, Conservative, or Straight. News Busters.
  • In Myanmar, riot police behind barbed wire barricades ringed a notorious prison where pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was to go on trial Monday for allegedly harboring an American (who is LDS) man who swam to her lakeside home. AP