ENFIELD, CT — A federal judge has declared that the Enfield Public Schools' plan to hold high school graduation ceremonies at a Christian church is unconstitutional, and has ordered the school board to find an alternative venue. The graduation plans were challenged in court by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU of Connecticut and the American Civil Liberties Union. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today warned corrections officials in three states not to use public funds to send inmates to a proposed “Christians-only” prison in Oklahoma.
Corrections Concepts, Inc., has proposed building a private prison in Wakita, Okla., that will indoctrinate prisoners in fundamentalist Christianity and will be staffed solely with “born-again” Christians. Read more
The Supreme Court should strike down an Arizona tax-credit scheme that funds private religious education, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The high court announced today that it will rule on an Arizona program that gives taxpayers a 100 percent credit for donations to school voucher organizations that pay for tuition at religious and other private schools. Most of the money has ended up subsidizing religious education. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a Los Angeles church that used its Web site and the social networking site Twitter to urge congregants to support a candidate for public office.
Oasis Church posted a statement on its Web site noting that a church official, Alex Jones-Moreno, was seeking reelection to the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood City Council. It asked church members to vote for Jones-Moreno. Read more
Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee yesterday that the Obama administration does not support religiously based hiring discrimination in taxpayer-funded “faith-based” programs.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State said the statement is welcome and urged the Obama administration to back it up by revoking Bush-era executive orders that permit hiring bias by religiously affiliated social services that take public funds. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on her views concerning a range of church-state issues.
President Barack Obama today announced the nomination of Kagan, currently U.S. solicitor general, to the high court. Since Kagan has not been a judge, she lacks a clear record on church-state separation issues. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU of Connecticut and the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit in federal court charging that the Enfield (Conn.) Public Schools’ decision to hold their high school graduation ceremonies at a Christian church unconstitutionally imposes religion on students. Read more
A Nebraska religious group that holds evangelistic rallies during the school day in public schools may be held legally liable for violating the Constitution, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
In a letter today, Americans United warned officials of the Todd Becker Foundation that they can be held responsible for infringing on the religious neutrality of public schools and the religious liberty rights of students. Read more
Today’s Supreme Court decision in a California cross case is disappointing, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
“I’m very disappointed,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “The court majority was clearly determined to find any bogus reason to keep this religious symbol in a public park.” Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today called on the Obama administration to investigate ten earmarks for religious schools and ministries that raise constitutional issues about inappropriate public funding of religion.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and three other cabinet officers, Americans United urged the administration to examine the congressional earmarks and block the funding unless appropriate legal safeguards can be put in place. Read more