Case Comment: Garcia V. Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by COS and NOI News, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. Case Comment: Garcia V. Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization

    Phil Lord

    Arbitration: The International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management

    Volume 86, Issue 2 (2020) pp. 211 – 222

    May 2020 and Dispute Management/86.2/AMDM2020017

    * * * * * BEGIN ABSTRACT * * * * *


    This piece analyses the decision rendered by Judge James D. Whittemore of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in the case of Garcia v Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization. It goes beyond the face of the decision, which upholds an arbitration award, to argue that the decision has significant implications for freedom of religion in the United States. More specifically, it argues that the decision narrows the grounds upon which a religious arbitration award can be vacated by a court. The decision allows religious legal systems to, in some circumstances, exist with no oversight from the court system. It exemplifies and supports the thesis that the protections afforded to religious freedom in the United States create room for religious legal systems that are inconsistent with the mainstream legal system to exist. Finally, this piece considers, in light of the obvious issues raised by Judge Whittemore’s decision, whether it might be time to rethink judicial review of religious arbitration awards.

    .* * * * * END ABSTRACT * * * * *


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