Church and State

Court blocks New York Governor's COVID Restrictions on Religious Congregations

Supreme Court of the United States

In a major victory for religious congregations, delivered late on Thanksgiving Eve, the United States Supreme Court blocked the state of New York from implementing gathering restrictions that the Court ruled discriminate against religious congregations.

 
 

Church deserves trial on constitutionality of shutdown order rules judge

John MacArthur - Grace Community Church

Contempt of court is a quasi-criminal act, and the court cannot punish someone for breaking a regulation if that regulation is not constitutional.

 
 

"I dissent!" A Survey of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Religion Clause Jurisprudence

Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2016. Official Supreme Court portrait.

Ginsburg wrote little on the religion clauses, but she frequently joined with those Justices who favored a strong separation of church and state. 

 
 

Two Southern California Judges Refuse to Shut Down Churches This Weekend

John MacArthur - Grace Community Church

With outdoor temperatures expected to pass the 100-degree mark, two Los Angeles area judges have given local churches some comforting news.

 
 

Ventura County Sues to Stop Church from Meeting Indoors

Pastor Bob McCoy - Godspeak Calvary Chapel - Newbury Park, CA speaking on YouTube 8/5/2020.

On August 2, 2020, the church again met indoors and Pastor McCoy said he was "willing to go to jail" and "willing for them to take our building" rather than comply with the state and local orders.

 
 

Supreme Court: Religious schools immune from teachers' discrimination claims

Supreme Court of the United States

The ethical and moral onus is now on religious institutions as they decide whether to fire "ministerial" employees for reasons illegal in the secular world, such as age or the need for cancer treatment. Institutions engaging in this kind of discriminatory tactic will still need to answer to a Higher Source who will not be impressed with their ability to obtain summary judgment. The way for religious institutions to "win" these cases is to avoid them in the first place by taking the lead in treating employees with the highest degree of care and concern.

 
 

Did the Supreme Court open the door to regulation of religious schools?

Did the Supreme Court open the door to regulation of religious schools?

With the death of state Blaine Amendments this week, religious schools that welcome state money might find that they are now subject to regulation that may undermine their very reason for existence. 

 
 

COVID-19 aid package that does not exclude churches passes with bipartisan support

COVID-19 aid package that does not exclude churches passes with bipartisan support

Although the Small Business Administration typically works with for-profit enterprises, the CARES Act does not exclude non-profit organizations from this funding, including churches. Banks will distribute these loans to qualifying organizations on a first-come, first-served basis. 

 
 

"So help me God" and the jury – 11th Circuit rules juror who claimed "divine revelation" properly dismissed

"So help me God" and the jury – 11th Circuit rules juror who claimed "divine revelation" properly dismissed

When jurors are selected for trial in Federal court, they are asked to adopt the phrase "so help me God." What happens when they take that oath too seriously?

 
 

Supreme Court to hear challenge to Montana's no-aid-to-religion law

Supreme Court to hear challenge to Montana's no-aid-to-religion law

The United States (U.S.) Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue, concerning a Montana state legislative program that allowed individuals to receive up to a $150.00 tax credit for money that they could donate to one of several K-12 scholarship funds.