On April 28, 2010, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Salazar v. Buono, No. 08-472. The plaintiff in Salazar, Frank Buono, claimed that the “Mojave Cross,” a Latin cross placed on federal land in the Mojave National Preserve by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in 1934, violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Buono sought an injunction (an injunction is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “[a] court order commanding or preventing an action”) requiring the government to remove the cross.
Freedom From Religion, a non-profit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin, whose mission is to “educate the public on matters relating to nontheism,” and “to promote the constitutional principle of separation of church and state,” brought suit against President Obama and his Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, claiming that the federal statute establishing the National Day of Prayer violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Christian Leagal Society is arguing that in denying the exemption, Hastings is violating their right of expressive association and is discriminating based upon viewpoint. Free Speech, Free Exercise, and the Establishment Clause are all implicated in this case. The question before the Court, then, is whether Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion allow an organization to be exempted from non-discrimination policies.