Judge Vacates TRO Barring Divorced Father From Exposing Child to Religion Other Than the Mother’s

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

In a divorce case that’s drawn national attention, a Chicago man who claims he has returned to his Catholic roots will be allowed to take his 3-year-old daughter to church, despite the objections of the girl’s Jewish mother, a Cook County judge [Renee Goldfarb] ruled this afternoon….

The judge said she found “no evidence … that taking 3-year-old Ela to church during Joseph’s visitation time is or would be harmful to Ela. She is three years old and, according to Joseph, while at church she waves at the other children, looks around and giggles. This court found that testimony credible.” …

The original order, from Judge Edward Jordan, is here (p. 5); I have read Judge Goldfarb’s opinion, and was quite impressed by the reasoning explaining the decision against interfering with the parents’ religious practices absent “proof of harm or potential harm” to the daughter. The judge had to juggle three not entirely consistent state appellate decisions, and I think did a very good job of coming to the conclusion that as consistent as possible with those decisions and with First Amendment caselaw.

UPDATE: Judge Goldfarb’s opinion is now online here.

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