Church and State

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Court Rules Cross Must Come Down

Court Rules Cross Must Come Down

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 10:48am
Yesterday, a district court ruled that the federal government may no longer display a 43-foot Latin cross on Mt. Soledad in San Diego, California. The Court's order, which prohibits the government from "displaying or continuing to allow the display of the current cross on federal land as part of the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial," follows a 2011 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holding that the display violates the fundamental principles underlying the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
No Laughing Matter: Government Prayer and Second-Class Citizenship

No Laughing Matter: Government Prayer and Second-Class Citizenship

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:40pm

This morning, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a First Amendment challenge to a New York town's practice of solemnizing its local board meetings with Christian prayer. The argument revealed the weak constitutional…

Symposium: Prayer and the machinery of the state

Symposium: Prayer and the machinery of the state

By Daniel Mach at 3:03pm

This was originally posted on SCOTUSBlog.

In Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supreme Court will address the contentious practice of legislative prayer for the first time in three decades. The Court first tackled the issue in Marsh v. Chambers,…

Judge to Sikh Man: Remove "That Rag"

Judge to Sikh Man: Remove "That Rag"

By Bear Atwood, ACLU at 4:57pm

Today, in a letter to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), the ACLU and United Sikhs called on state officials to investigate the harassment of a Sikh commercial truck driver pulled over early this year for a flat tire.  After…

The Supreme Court Revisits Official Government Prayer

The Supreme Court Revisits Official Government Prayer

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:52pm

It's hard to believe that, in 2013, any question remains regarding the constitutionality of official government prayers, but the Supreme Court will revisit the issue for the first time in more than a decade when it hears oral arguments this November…

No Playing Favorites with Prayer

No Playing Favorites with Prayer

By Aleksandr Sverdlik, Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 12:24pm

“We can’t be defeated, we can’t be destroyed, and we can’t be denied because we are going to live forever with you through the salvation of Jesus Christ.” Usually, these are the words a churchgoer might hear on a Sunday morning. Instead,…

What Constitution? Anti-Muslim Rep. in North Carolina Pushes for Christian Prayer in Government Meetings

What Constitution? Anti-Muslim Rep. in North Carolina Pushes for Christian Prayer in Government Meetings

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:17pm

Should local officials be able to start their meetings with prayers that endorse a particular faith? North Carolina State Rep. Michele Presnell thinks so, with one tiny caveat: the faith endorsed must be her own. When asked by one of her constituents…

A School Voucher by Any Other Name

A School Voucher by Any Other Name

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 11:25am

Thirty million. That’s the amount of tax dollars that could be diverted annually from New Hampshire’s coffers to private schools by the year 2022 if the state is allowed to implement its new Education Tax Credit Program. Under the tax credit…

Religious Rites, Students’ Rights, and Rites of Passage

Religious Rites, Students’ Rights, and Rites of Passage

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 1:04pm

For several years, the public high schools of Enfield, Connecticut held their graduation ceremony in the First Cathedral Church in nearby Bloomfield. Students, friends, and family entered the building under a large cross, passed through a lobby decorated…

Supreme Court Takes a Pass on Mt. Soledad Cross Case

Supreme Court Takes a Pass on Mt. Soledad Cross Case

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 5:36pm

Today, we were pleased to learn that the Supreme Court declined to review our challenge to the federal government’s display of a 43-foot-tall Latin cross atop Mt. Soledad in San Diego, California.  The ACLU and the ACLU of San Diego and…

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