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Wirtz v. City of South Bend

In June 2011, the City of South Bend approved a plan to purchase a piece of land for $1.2 million and donate it to a Catholic school (St. Joseph's High School) to use for a football stadium and other athletic facilities. The religious school was handpicked by the City to receive the land, and the City permitted the school to use the land for religious purposes, including prayers at athletic events.   Read more

Sherman v. Illinois

A group called Friends of the Cross received $20,000 from the Illinois legislature to refurbish Bald Knob Cross, which the group claims is the largest cross in the western hemisphere. The earmark was awarded by a state senator out of what is essentially a legislative slush fund, and the earmark required the executive branch to provide the taxpayer funds. Read more

Does v. Enfield Public Schools

Starting in 2007, the Enfield Public Schools (located just north of Hartford, Connecticut) began holding the Schools’ two high-school graduations in the sanctuary of a Christian church, the First Cathedral. An enormous white cross sits atop the Cathedral’s roof, dominating the skyline as one approaches. To enter the building for graduations, students and their guests pass under another large cross in the Cathedral’s facade. Read more

Shapiro v. Browning

The Florida Constitution prohibits the state from using taxpayer money to fund religious organizations or programs. During its 2011 session, the Florida legislature proposed an amendment to the Florida Constitution that not only would repeal this strict prohibition on public funding of religious institutions, but would also forbid Florida government bodies from denying public funding to religious institutions unless the U.S. Constitution prohibited the funding. The proposed amendment will become law if it is approved by Florida voters in the November 2012 general election.  Read more

Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC

For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether and to what extent the First Amendment requires a "ministerial exception" to the federal employment-discrimination laws. A teacher at a religious school filed a lawsuit alleging that she was fired after asserting her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Read more

Sole v. Wyner

Case concerning the availability of an attorney's fees award where a plaintiff in a civil rights case obtains a preliminary injunction.

Johnson v. Poway Unified School District

A California public high-school teacher displayed large banners in his classroom with the following text: "IN GOD WE TRUST," "ONE NATION UNDER GOD," "GOD BLESS AMERICA," "GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE," and "All Men Are Created Equal They Are Endowed By Their CREATOR." After the teacher refused to provide those with greater historical context so as to avoid promoting religion, the school district instructed the teacher to remove the banners altogether.  Read more

A.A. v. Needville Independent School District

Challenge to public-school district's grooming policy requiring boys to wear their hair short by parents of a Native American kindergartner who wears his hair long and in braids in accordance with his family's religious beliefs.

Cutter v. Wilkinson

Opposition to challenge to Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a federal law protecting the rights of prison inmates to practice their religions.

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