October 2018 Church & State | AU In Action

September was another busy month for Americans United, much of it consumed with activity related to opposition to Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

AU President and CEO Rachel Laser took part in a protest against Kavanaugh that several civil rights and civil liberties groups held Sept. 4 in the atrium of the Senate Hart Office Building on Capitol Hill. During brief remarks, Laser explained that Kava­naugh’s elevation to the Supreme Court could be disastrous for public education.

Rachel Laser at "I Am What's At Stake" Rally during Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings

(Photo: AU President and CEO Rachel Laser, second from left, joins a rally of women protesting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.)

On Sept. 5, Laser did an interview with Al Jazeera television network about Project Blitz, an effort by Religious Right groups to pass legislation undermining separation of church and state in state legislatures.

Laser traveled to Boston Sept. 29 to address Americans United’s Massachusetts Chapter. Her talk was titled “Church-State Separation in the Trump Era: Where We Are and Where We’re Going.”

AU Legal Director Richard B. Katskee took part in the “Religion and the Administrative State Public Policy Conference” Sept. 14. The event was sponsored by the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington, Va. Katskee participated in a panel titled “The Future of the First Amendment.”

Rob Boston, editor of Church & State and a senior adviser at AU, met with a delegation of religious and civic leaders from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Mali and Mauritania Sept. 6. The event was coordinated by the U.S. State Department’s International Leadership Visitor Program.

Boston did a number of speeches in Sarasota, Fla., for the Americans Uni­ted chapter there Sept. 28-29. On Sept. 30, Boston traveled to Winter Park, Fla., where he addressed the Cen­tral Florida Freethought Community.

AU’s Greater Houston Chapter took part in a “Stop Kavanaugh Action Event” Sept. 9. The event, held in conjunction with allied groups, took place at the Montrose Center in Houston.

Americans United’s Orange County (California) Chapter held a Sept. 15 event titled “The California Healthy Youth Act & the Religious Right’s Attack.” Featured speakers were Laura Kanter, director of policy, advocacy and youth programs at the LGBT Center Orange County and Lynne Riddle, a retired federal court judge.

The talk focused on a comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education law in California and how public schools are reacting to it.