Supreme Court

Court to consider tax funding of religious schools, pre-viability abortion ban, and clergy activity at executions

Court to consider tax funding of religious schools, pre-viability abortion ban, and clergy activity at executions

This term, the Supreme Court will be revisiting the issue of whether states must fund religious schools, whether clergy members can say prayers during executions of inmates, and whether a state can ban abortion before viability. The following is a brief summary and analysis of the cases. 

 
 

High Court hands Catholic Social Services narrowly drafted victory

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court finds for a Catholic foster care service while sidestepping a larger free exercise of religion issue.

 
 

US Supreme Court overturns California restrictions on in-home Bible studies

Supreme Court of the United States

In a decision released Friday night, April 9, 2021, the United States Supreme Court has blocked California's COVID-19 restrictions on in-home religious gatherings.  

 
 

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Workplace Religious Accommodation Cases

Supreme Court of the United States

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would not be hearing two major workplace religious accommodation cases.

 
 

Court unanimously finds RFRA plaintiffs can sue FBI agents for money damages

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that plaintiffs whose religious rights were violated can sue government employees individually for monetary damages.

 
 

LA County recognizes churches are constitutionally exempt from stay-at-home order

LA County recognizes churches are constitutionally exempt from stay-at-home order

The language of the new Los Angeles COVID restriction specifically exempts religious gatherings as a matter of constitutional right.  

 
 

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.

 
 

Supreme Court not likely to make individual FBI agents pay for allegedly violating Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Supreme Court of the United States

On October 6, 2020, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case on the issue of whether individual FBI agents can be held financially liable if they are found to have violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  The underlying case involves Muslim-Americans who alleged that individual FBI agents put them on the "no fly" list after they refused to act as informants against fellow Muslims in terrorism-related investigations.

 
 

"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. 

 
 

Founders’ First Freedom urges Supreme Court to Restore Title VII Workplace Religious Accommodation Standard

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Today, Founders’ First Freedom, Inc. filed an amicus brief urging the United States Supreme Court to revisit and restore the workplace religious accommodation standard found in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.