Tuesday, April 20, 2004


The Supreme Court has thrown out the appeal of an Indiana state trooper who objected to doing casino work
The state trooper had said that the gambling enforcement assignment would force him to violate his religious beliefs.

Benjamin Endres sued the state and lost. He wanted the Supreme Court to use his case to require law enforcement agencies to accommodate the religious views of employees. Justices refused to take on another religious case.

Endres, who is Baptist, said he was not opposed to general casino crime-fighting, but could not go along when the state designated him a full-time gaming officer and ordered him to report to a casino in Michigan City, Ind.

A federal law protects people from discrimination based on religion. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said the law does not require police and fire departments to assign workers to duties compatible with their principles.

I think there's little doubt that Endres could have been accomodated very easily by his employers. But it's also the case that law enforcement tends to place you in an environment populated by unsavory sorts. There are few undercover assignments at church potlucks.

But does anyone think that if Endres was a homosexual, a minority, a woman or, say, a Muslim or a Buddhist bringing a discrimination complaint and not a white male Baptist his arguments would have been taken a little more seriously?

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