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  • Implications of ruling on teacher's firing; Some praise it as a religious liberty decision, others urge caution.
    WASHINGTON ? The direction the courts will take with other cases related to religious employment is far from clear, but the Supreme Court's Jan. 11 ruling opens a whole track of possibilities. The decision in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC held that fired teacher Cheryl Perich could not sue under federal disability discrimination laws, because the Michigan Lutheran school where she worked considered her a "called" minister. Writing for a unanimous court, Chief Justice John Roberts said the government cannot require a church to retain an unwanted minister because doing so "intrudes upon more than a mere employment decision. Such action interferes with the internal governance of the church, depriving the church of control over the selection of those who will personify its beliefs."
  • Banks, States Close To Deal On Mortgages; $25 Bil For Foreclosure Flap
    A $25 billion settlement by major banks and U.S. states over questionable foreclosure practices in the housing crisis is nearing completion.
  • N. Jersey Democrat wants to raise minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, among nation's highest
    While Gov. Christie is pitching tax cuts for all in 2012, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D., Essex) wants to give a boost to the 40,000 New Jerseyans who make the $7.25 hourly minimum wage. Oliver wants to bump the minimum rate to $8.50 and tie it to the consumer price index, which measures the cost of living. "At a time when some presidential candidates are saying poor people should be demanding jobs and not welfare, this proposal is about livable wages for the lowest-income earners," she said during the Assembly's reorganization in Trenton this week. "Quite simply, we should all support economic stimulus, increased consumer spending."
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