With the clock counting down the hours until President Donald J. Trump’s second attempt at a Muslim ban was to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. today, two federal judges issued separate rulings that put the ban on hold nationwide.
First, in Hawaii, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a nationwide temporary restraining order against provisions in Trump’s executive order that would have blocked immigration from six Muslim-majority countries for three months and would have barred all refugees for four months.
Late on Friday, Americans United entered the legal battle against Muslim Ban 2.0: We filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the State of Hawaii in seeking a temporary restraining order against President Donald J. Trump’s second executive order restricting Muslim immigration.
The U. S. Supreme Court won’t hear a case from a Hawaiian Native American church that is arguing its members should be exempt from federal anti-drug laws.
The Oklevueha Native American Church, which uses marijuana during its services, filed the lawsuit in 2009, arguing that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a federal law passed in 1993 to protect minority religious expression, should allow its members to possess and distribute marijuana.
It always pays to read the fine print. You never know what might be lurking in a lengthy, legalistic document.
Case in point: Legislators in Hawaii recently approved a state budget. As you can imagine, a $6 billion budget for a state of 1.4 million people can be a pretty complex thing. Some lawmakers probably signed off on it without reading every word.
Official, state-sponsored prayers before government bodies are often problematic, but many legislators simply refuse to give them up.
The state of Hawaii has just learned the hard way that it’s best not to overreact when citizens protest government-endorsed religion.
This month, new officials across the country are taking office and getting ready for their chance to govern.
How they start off their term often sends a strong message about their respect for church-state separation and religious diversity. Unfortunately, some officials don’t bother to follow the constitutional principle at all.
It’s not often we hear much church-state news from Hawaii, but today is the exception.
The head of the Hawaii Republican Party has taken it upon himself to send out an e-mail warning pastors that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann is “not righteous.”
Hannemann’s campaign has been looking to visit churches across the state, and Hawaii GOP head Jonah Kaauwai believes any church that allows him to speak will in effect be furthering “unrighteousness.”
Earlier this week, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a bill that would have created civil unions in the state.
In her veto message, Lingle talked about how she agonized over the decision. She said she has always opposed extending marriage rights to same-sex couples and concluded that this bill was essentially marriage under another guise.