Within 15 minutes it was done: The Oklahoma Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass three extreme bills yesterday – with no debate. The first bill would allow prayer in public schools (SB 450), the second would make the state’s law requiring parental consent for a minor to receive abortion care even more severe (SB 753) and the third would gut the state’s civil rights laws by allowing a range of individuals and businesses to discriminate as long as it’s based on a sincerely held religious belief (SB 197). It was as easy as 1, 2, 3.
By Brian Fields
Presidents Day is a good time to reflect on some of the great things chief executives have said about separation of church and state and religious freedom.
Yesterday a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee convened a hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in America.” It was supposed to be yet another installment in a long-running series: opponents of LGBTQ equality and reproductive rights seek to promote discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.
Today, the Supreme Court of the state of Washington issued an important ruling, unanimously holding that a business can’t ignore the state anti-discrimination law and refuse to provide flowers for a same-sex couple’s wedding.
Yesterday, a federal appeals court ruled 2-1 that county commissioners in Jackson County, Mich. – all of whom are Christian – can no longer deliver prayers that are exclusively Christian prior to their meetings.
Tomorrow, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the state of religious liberty in America. Today, Americans United joined two dozen organizations in a letter urging the subcommittee to focus on an extraordinary, immediate threat to religious freedom: President Donald J. Trump’s Muslim ban.
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to offer all of us some pearls of wisdom.
His latest is an old standby: If you don’t like a court ruling, find a way to shut down the court.
Yesterday, a judge on the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the Trump administration from enforcing its unconstitutional Muslim ban in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
While this order aligns with those of almost every other court that has heard a challenge to the Muslim ban thus far – including the nationwide restraining order issued by the U.S. District Court in Seattle and upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – the Virginia court’s analysis was notably different in one respect: its focus on religious freedom.