Washington, D.C. – Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Muslim Advocates and the Southern Poverty Law Center urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release immediate guidance and precise criteria outlining how the department intends to implement Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing the Muslim ban to take partial effect.
The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that protects the integrity of our tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates. And it’s under attack.
The U.S. Supreme Court went out of session this morning and did so with a bang. The high court took three actions that affect church-state separation.
Here’s a rundown on what happened:
Trinity Lutheran v. Comer: Americans United has been warning for more than a year that it could erode the church-state wall. The ruling is harmful – but not as bad as it might have been.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the lawsuits challenging President Donald J. Trump’s executive order restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries. The Court has also allowed the Muslim ban to go into effect for people without ties to the United States.
“Allowing the ban to take even partial effect opens the door to discrimination based on religion – which is at odds with our laws, history, traditions and common sense,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to act on several crucial religious freedom cases, all of which Americans United is involved in.
As soon as Monday and certainly by the end of next week, the court is expected to issue a ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, a case that threatens to blur the lines between church and state.
The Trump Administration apparently will include one less person dragging the baggage of legal entanglements and concerning views on religious freedom: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. over the weekend announced he won’t join President Donald J. Trump’s Department of Homeland Security after all.
A new study of more than 130,000 American clergy finds that faith leaders tend to be more partisan than the congregations they’re leading.
That finding should give pause to those who seek to weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment – a provision in the tax code that protects the integrity of our tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates. Changing the law could divide congregations – especially if a pastor endorses a candidate congregants don’t support.
Monday evening, fresh off of the welcoming news that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had upheld the injunction against Muslim ban 2.0, I participated in my first HIAS (formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) action meeting at the Sixth and I Synagogue in Washington D.C.