Americans United for Separation of Church and State today reiterated its call for the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on issues relating to religious liberty and church-state separation.
Americans United today praised a federal appellate court decision that will make it more likely that women in Washington state have access to emergency contraceptives from their local pharmacies.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court was wrong when it blocked a Washington state regulation requiring pharmacies to sell “Plan B” morning-after pills.
Officials at a Texas public school have no right to force a Native American elementary school student to cut his hair, which he wears long for religious reasons, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Americans United today filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting student Adriel Arocha and his family. The family is challenging a grooming policy at the Needville Independent School District that bans long hair for male students. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to terminate or investigate nine federal grants awarded to faith-based groups that proselytize and that discriminate in hiring.
In the 2008 fiscal year, Congress approved earmarks that directed the U.S. Department of Justice to award grants to these religious organizations. The Department of Justice, under the Bush administration, approved the constitutionally dubious funding without conducting anything more than a cursory review. Read more
American United for Separation of Church and State today praised a federal appeals court for striking down a government display of the Ten Commandments in Haskell County, Okla.
Reversing a lower court, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declared unconstitutional the eight-foot-tall religious display, which was erected at the local courthouse in 2004 after a campaign by a local minister and his supporters. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a Richmond church that endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran during June 7 services.
Moran visited and spoke at the Fifth Street Baptist Church, where he was endorsed by its pastor, the Rev. F. Todd Gray. Gray advised his flock that he plans to vote for Moran, reported The Washington Post. Read more
A federal judge today ruled that a Wisconsin public school district can hold high school graduation ceremonies in a church.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which sponsored the litigation to stop this practice of the Elmbrook School District in Brookfield, Wisc., expressed regret over the decision.
“Public school graduations should always be held at locations where all families feel welcome,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “This decision fails to respect all students and the Constitution.” Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State says an Internal Revenue Service complaint filed against it today by Jerry Falwell Jr. is groundless and should go nowhere.
Falwell, chancellor of Liberty University, directed his legal arm, Liberty Counsel, to file the complaint in retaliation after Americans United reported the Lynchburg school to the IRS last week. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today deplored the murder of a Kansas doctor nationally known for his work on behalf of women’s reproductive rights.
Dr. George Tiller was shot dead Sunday morning while serving as an usher at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kan. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today asked the Internal Revenue Service to review the tax-exempt status of Liberty University in the wake of the school’s decision to yank official recognition of a student-run Democratic club.
Last week, Liberty officials informed the president of the Democratic club that it is no longer eligible for university recognition, including funding through student activity fees. The goals of the Democratic Party, school officials insisted, are contrary to Liberty’s evangelical Christian outlook. Read more