U.s. House Rejects Effort To Add Vouchers To Special Education Bill

Vote Is A Setback For Pro-Voucher Crusade, Says Americans United

The U.S. House of Representatives today rejected two efforts to add private-school vouchers to a special-education bill. Americans United for Separation of Church and State hailed the votes, calling them strong evidence that Congress does not support giving tax aid to religious education.

"This should be a message to President Bush," said Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn. "A substantial majority of the House does not think vouchers are wise or workable."

School-sponsored Prayers At Virginia Military Institute Held Unconstitutional

Americans United Lauds Decision Barring Public Universities From Compelling Students To Attend Religious Worship

A federal appeals court yesterday declared the Virginia Military Institute's practice of requiring prayers before supper unconstitutional. Americans United for Separation of Church and State hailed the unanimous decision, saying it protects freedom of conscience.

'faith-based' Debate Over Jobs Bill Expected Soon In U.s. House

Job Training Bill Would Fund Religious Discrimination In Hiring, Charges Americans United

An impending vote on a major job-training bill in Congress is likely to be the next battle over the White House's "faith-based" agenda, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Late last month, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce sent to the floor a bill that would allow "faith-based" groups to receive job training funds and still discriminate on religious grounds in hiring.

'national Day Of Prayer' Entangles Religion And Government, Says Au

Government Officials Should Not Tell Americans When And How To Pray, Says AU's Lynn

The National Day of Prayer inappropriately entangles religion and government and undercuts authentic expressions of faith, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"The National Day of Prayer is to authentic religion what 'Mr. Personality' is to romance: a sham and a poor imitation of the real thing," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. "I don't look to government officials to tell me when and how to pray, and I don 't think most other Americans do either.

Arkansas School Board's Restrictions On Harry Potter Overturned

Americans United Praises Federal Judge For Rejecting Library Book Censorship

A federal court in Arkansas has properly dismissed an attempt by a school board to restrict access to the popular Harry Potter books, said Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

On April 22, U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren ordered the Cedarville School District to make the Potter books available for general circulation in school libraries. The ruling overturned an action of the Cedarville School Board, which voted 3-2 last year to require students to obtain a parent's permission to check the books out.

Federal Appeals Panel Wrong About 'faith-based' Funding, Says Americans United

Civil Liberties Groups Urge Full 7th Circuit To Reverse Flawed Ruling That Undermines Church-State Separation

A federal appeals court panel stretched the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on school vouchers to allow for direct state aid to a "faith-based" rehabilitation program for ex-offenders, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

On April 17, Americans United and three other public interest groups filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that a three-judge panel misapplied Supreme Court precedent in upholding Wisconsin funding for Faith Works, an evangelical Christian group that operates a halfway house.

Release Of Transcript Fails To Vindicate Education Secretary Paige, Says Americans United

Education Department Leader's Comments Still Show Favoritism Toward Christianity In Public Schools, Group Asserts

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has renewed its call for U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige to resign in light of Paige's ongoing refusal to repudiate his belief that public schools should promote Christianity.

Moore Must Remove Ten Commandments From Alabama Judicial Building, Americans United Tells Appeals Court

Alabama Chief Justice Has No Right To Display Religious Symbol In Courthouse, Say AU And Allied Groups

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore's display of the Ten Commandments in the state Judicial Building violates the U.S. Constitution, Americans United has told a federal appeals court.

In an appellees' brief filed April 14, attorneys with Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama and the Southern Poverty Law Center asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a lower court ruling and require Moore to remove the religious monument.

Istook School Prayer Amendment Unnecessary, Divisive And Dangerous, Says Americans United

First Amendment Does Not Need To Be Rewritten, Group Asserts

U.S. Rep. Ernest J. Istook's latest attempt to add a school prayer amendment to the Constitution deserves a speedy defeat in Congress, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"It's time again to remind the U.S. Congress of a fundamental truth: The First Amendment is not broken and doesn't need to be fixed," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "Istook's amendment claims to protect the people's right to pray, but that right is already protected by the First Amendment. "