Main | Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Can Miss California Sue?

A Fox News "legal analyst" claims that Miss California Carrie Prejean has a case for religious discrimination and should sue the Miss USA pageant.
Prejean fielded a question during Sunday night's pageant from celebrity blogger Perez Hilton about whether every state should legalize same-sex marriage. Prejean replied that she is opposed to gay marriage, and her answer may have cost her the crown. She finished second to Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton. "She lost it because of that question," Hilton said Monday. "She was definitely the front-runner before that." Hilton, who is gay, said he gave Prejean a zero for her answer, and that may have made the difference in the outcome. Prejean, who attends San Diego Christian College, said she saw the question as a test of her faith — a religious trial that could have her finishing in the money, if she decides to sue. Any contestant in the pageant would be upset over losing, but it's the special circumstances surrounding Prejean's close call that would give her grounds to sue, Colwin said. "It's her religious beliefs which prompted her to say 'I don't believe in same-sex marriages.' So she was espousing her beliefs," and could sue for a violation of Title VII, which forbids discrimination on the basis of religion.
Not everyone agrees.

But other legal experts say the suit would be dismissed as frivolous because there was no government involvement in the contest and no violation of rights in that private enterprise. "The First Amendment insulates interference with religion from the government — it does not insulate religious interference with anyone else," said Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior legal analyst for FOX News. "I don't think the litigation would get to first base." If anything, Napolitano added, Prejean "has a cause of action against 'The Donald' — against the people who run this thing" for choosing biased judges. A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, which co-owns the Miss USA pageant, directed questions to a spokeswoman for the Miss USA pageant, who declined to comment

The "analyst" also says that Prejean could sue for "psychic injury." Wait, what?

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