Time to start forming a network to Defend the Seal of the Confessional
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A reader writes:
I have been writing a blog for a couple of weeks focusing on common law developments with an examination of interesting cases published in California and the Ninth Circuit of the United States Courts of Appeal. On Tuesday, I did a post on the Ninth’s rejection of a Rastafarian’s defense that he was exempt from the Controlled Substances Act because his possession of marijuana was part of his religious beliefs. Then, came the various posts dealing with the proposed legislation limiting confessional privacy. At that time, I felt that certainly such legislation would not withstand First Amendment scrutiny.
I thereafter took a look at Supreme Court precedent, and the answer seems to be that it would because – like drug control laws – child abuse reporting laws are laws of general, neutral application.
You can find my post at peterseanesq.blogspot.com.
I would be interested in hearing what other professionals have to say about this issue.
I’m not a lawyer and will refrain from bloviating about this in relation to the Rastafarian decision, but any lawyer readers are welcome to bloviate away in the comments box or on my reader’s site.