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Christian Firefighter Who Refused to Be Photographed Loses Suit

Nov. 22, 2022, 6:28 PM

A Massachusetts fire chief is immune from a Christian firefighter’s claim that discipline meted out for his refusal to be photographed for his identification card and accountability tag violated his constitutional rights.

Thomas Swartz failed to show that the directive, which Bourne Fire Department Chief Norman Sylvester issued in 2016 to achieve consistency among firefighter’s ID cards and accountability tags, wasn’t facially neutral, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said.

Swartz also failed to show the directive wasn’t generally applicable to all firefighters, which meant it passed constitutional muster because it was rationally related to the legitimate ...