Americans United Urges Indiana Appeals Court To Find School Voucher Program Unconstitutional

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Government Subsidies For Religious Schools Violate Indiana Constitution

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked a state appeals court to strike down a voucher program that directs taxpayer dollars to religious schools.

In a friend-of-the-court brief in Meredith v. Daniels, Americans United urged the Indiana Court of Appeals to find the Choice Scholarship Program (CSP) unconstitutional because public funds go almost exclusively to religious schools.  Read more

Americans United Settles Texas Lawsuit Over Religious Activities In Public School

Settlement In Medina Valley Dispute Requires District To End Promotion of Religion

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today announced that it has settled a lawsuit over school-sponsored religious activity at the Medina Valley Independent School District in Castroville, Texas.

Americans United filed the lawsuit in May 2011 on behalf of Christa and Danny Schultz, and their two sons, Trevor and Corwyn, both of whom recently graduated from Medina Valley High School. Members of the Schultz family are agnostics and opposed official prayers during the graduation ceremony and other religious activities at the school. Read more

Americans United Applauds Federal Appeals Court Ruling Against California’s Proposition 8

Americans’ Civil Rights Should Not Be Subject To Whims Of Religious Majorities, Says Watchdog Group

A federal appeals court made the right call today in striking down California’s Proposition 8, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In its Perry v. Brown decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Proposition 8, a measure that withdrew the civil marriage rights of same-sex couples in the state. Read more

Americans United Deplores House Votes Promoting Religious Symbols At War Memorials

Church-State Watchdog Group Scores Congress For Focusing On Divisive ‘Culture War’ Issues

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today criticized the House of Representatives for approving two bills promoting the use of religious symbols and prayers at governmental monuments and war memorials.

The House voted to approve H.R. 290, the “War Memorial Protection Act” and H.R. 2070, the “World War II Memorial Prayer Act of 2011.” Both bills are designed to add religious language to monuments or allow sectarian symbols to be used to honor the nation’s war dead. Read more

Americans United Hails Supreme Court Refusal To Intervene In North Carolina Prayer Case

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Government Should Never Show Favoritism Toward One Religion

The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it will not intervene in a controversy over sectarian prayer before meetings of the Forsyth County, N.C., Board of Commissioners.

The justices’ action leaves in place an appellate court decision barring the county from regularly opening its meetings with Christian invocations.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, one of the groups sponsoring the lawsuit, said the high court was right not to intervene. Read more

Groups Seek Information From Federal Agencies On Hiring Bias In 'Faith-Based' Programs

Coalition Against Religious Discrimination Questions Government Offices To Determine Action On Discriminatory Policies

A coalition of religious and public policy organizations is asking several federal agencies to explain how they handle issues of religious bias in hiring when allocating taxpayer funds to “faith-based” programs.

Federal agencies often award contracts or grants to religious groups to provide social services. Civil rights and civil liberties advocates have argued that faith-based groups that accept public aid should hire staff on the basis of qualification, not belief about religion. Read more

Americans United Asks For Preliminary Injunction In Sussex County Prayer Lawsuit

Government-Sponsored Recitation Of The Lord’s Prayer Clearly Violates Constitution, Church-State Watchdog Group Says

A federal court should grant a preliminary injunction blocking a Delaware county council from opening its meetings with distinctively Christian prayer, Americans United for Separation of Church and State said in a court filing today.

Americans United, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group, is challenging the Sussex County Council’s long-standing practice of opening each of its meetings with the recitation of a Protestant version of the Lord’s Prayer, led by Council President Michael H. Vincent. Read more

Full Federal Appeals Court Agrees To Review Decision Allowing Public School Commencements in Wisconsin Church

Students Should Not Be Forced To Graduate In Sectarian Facility Underneath Large Cross, Americans United Contends

The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to decide whether it is constitutional for a public school to hold graduation ceremonies in the sanctuary of a Wisconsin church.

Americans United attorneys asked the full appeals court to reconsider a recent appellate panel decision upholding the Elmbrook School District’s use of Elmbrook Church to hold graduation ceremonies for two local high schools.

In a Sept. 9 decision, a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit ruled 2-1 that the practice does not violate the separation of church and state. Read more