Legal Issues

Trump order essentially affirms Johnson Amendment

Trump order essentially affirms Johnson Amendment

Last Thursday, President Donald Trump marked the National Day of Prayer with an executive order that at most expressed the administration's desire that the Department of the Treasury should not unnecessarily threaten the tax-exempt status of religious non-profit organizations if they engage in political activity. Despite stating during the campaign that he would "destroy" the Johnson Amendment, the administration ultimately made a benign gesture affirming existing law while describing its parameters and limits.

 
 

Supreme Court schedules oral arguments in Trinity Lutheran case

ver a year after agreeing to hear the case on January 15, 2016, the Supreme Court has finally set a date for the oral arguments in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley.

 
 

Washington court finds no free exercise right to ignore antidiscrimination law

Washington court finds no free exercise right to ignore antidiscrimination law

The Supreme Court of the State of Washington has rejected a florist's claim that state anti-discrimination statutes did not apply to her religion-based refusal to sell flowers for use in a same-sex wedding ceremony.

 
 

Op-Ed: How Abolishing the Johnson Amendment Would Harm Religious Liberty

Op-Ed: How Abolishing the Johnson Amendment Would Harm Religious Liberty

By Gregory W. Hamilton – Repealing the Johnson Amendment is not about "free speech." It is about giving politicians tax-deductible donations and endorsements in return for power.

 
 

Writing competition asks law students to write model Supreme Court opinion in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley

LOS ANGELES, CA – While most legal writing competitions ask participants to pick a side, Founders First Freedom is asking for much more in its inaugural law student writing competition.  Participating students will review pleadings and amicus briefs in a case currently before the United States Supreme Court, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, and write model majority decisions that weigh both […]

 
 

What does the Trump win mean for religious liberty?

What does the Trump win mean for religious liberty?

Donald Trump's transition team is making plans to occupy the White House. What does this mean for religious liberty?

 
 

Georgia drops subpoena request for laypastor's sermons and Bible

Georgia drops subpoena request for laypastor's sermons and Bible

After over 40,000 people signed a petition expressing outrage at the State of Georgia for demanding Seventh-day Adventist lay pastor Dr. Eric Walsh's sermon notes, transcripts, and Bible, the state has withdrawn the subpoena.

 
 

Iowa church drops transgender restroom lawsuit

Iowa church drops transgender restroom lawsuit

ast week the Fort Des Moines Church of Christ voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit against the state and the city of Des  Moines over language in a brochure that they interpreted as interpreted as requiring churches to accommodate transgender bathroom access. The law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but the Iowa Civil Rights Commission indicated that churches […]

 
 

Defense budget bill would roll back Obama's 2014 anti-discrimination order

Defense budget bill would roll back Obama's 2014 anti-discrimination order

President Obama threatens to veto defense budget bill if language permitting discrimination on basis of religion or sexual orientation remains.

 
 

U.S. Civil Rights Commission report gives free exercise of religion second-tier status

U.S. Civil Rights Commission report gives free exercise of religion second-tier status

In a stunning report, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Chairman Martin Castro attacked the Religious Freedom Restoration Act at both the state and federal level, challenged the terms "religious liberty" and "religious liberty" as code for intolerance, and argued that free exercise rights should yield to other civil rights if they come into conflict.