In a groundbreaking victory against government sponsorship of religion, a New Jersey appellate court ruled that the administration of Gov. Chris Christie violated the New Jersey Constitution when it awarded more than $11 million to two religious institutions of higher learning. This decision by the Appellate Division represents the first major state court precedent in almost 40 years concerning New Jersey’s prohibition on using taxpayer funding to support a religious ministry.
DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU and the law firm Arnold & Porter — who successfully challenged a Douglas County school voucher program before the Colorado Supreme Court last year — filed motions yesterday challenging the validity of a new lawsuit that asks a federal district court to issue an unprecedented order that would require the Douglas County School District to divert taxpayer funds to religious schools.
A Columbus, Ohio, student has won first place in Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s Student Essay Contest.
McKenzie Hartman, a senior at Metro Early College High School, earned a prize of $500 for her essay on why the separation of church of state is integral to preserving religious freedom in America’s pluralistic society.
Hartman’s winning essay will be printed in Church & State, Americans United’s membership magazine, in July, and Americans United sent her school $500 to be used for educational supplies.
The U.S. Supreme Court today took a pass on dealing with the important question of access to birth control, an action that could leave tens of thousands of women in limbo, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
In a brief order issued this morning, the high court vacated several cases before it dealing with employee access to birth control and sent them back to lower courts for more proceedings.
The Colorado Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional rights of same-sex couples by refusing to hear a religious-freedom challenge to a state anti-discrimination ordinance, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
Americans United had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. This action is part of Americans United’s Protect Thy Neighbor project, which seeks to stop religion-based discrimination against LGBT persons and others.
It is deeply distressing that Mississippi lawmakers have approved a measure that could permit religion-based discrimination against many Mississippians, including LGBT persons, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Final regulations issued by the Obama administration today that cover the relationship between government and faith-based social-service providers should go a long way toward improving protections for individual religious liberty rights, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.