President Donald Trump’s nominees to serve as assistants to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos may have more experience in education than her, but they didn’t seem any more prepared than she did at their Senate confirmation hearing this week.
A federal court on Sept. 30 struck down a Florida county’s divisive practice of refusing to allow non-theistic invocations at the start of the county commission’s meetings. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit brought by Americans United and allies.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled that the policy of Brevard County’s Board of Commissioners to allow only monotheistic, overwhelmingly Christian invocations violated both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions – due to the government’s favoring of certain faiths.
Over the weekend, a federal court struck down a Florida county’s practice of denying atheists, humanists and other non-theists the opportunity to offer invocations at the start of the county commission’s meetings.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled the policy of Brevard County’s Board of County Commissioners to allow only monotheistic, overwhelmingly Christian invocations violated both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions – namely by the government showing favoritism for certain faiths.
A federal court last night struck down the Brevard County, Fla., Board of County Commissioners’ policy of excluding non-theists from giving opening invocations, a ruling that is being hailed by the groups that sponsored the litigation.
In its ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida said a local governing body cannot limit its invocation speakers to those from monotheistic religions.
Those living in areas ravaged by Hurricane Harvey are just beginning to rebuild their lives and clean up, and those in the path of Hurricane Irma are just trying to comprehend its devastation. We at Americans United continue to be concerned about everyone recovering from or in the midst of these historic storms and have reached out to many of our members and supporters in these areas to let them know we are thinking of them.
The assaults on religious freedom and church-state separation by the Trump/Pence administration have fired up a base of already passionate Americans United supporters, and they are ready to fight back. This past weekend, I joined AU’s Field team, chapter leaders and supporters from North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee for a two-day training on grassroots organizing.
This year, Florida’s 37-member Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), which meets every 20 years, is convening to review and offer amendments to the state’s constitution.
Some reports indicate that the CRC may repeal two constitutional provisions that provide protections for religious freedom and public education. As a result, Americans United encouraged Florida members, activists and supporters to fight back.
Today marks 100 days since Michigan billionaire and school voucher proponent Betsy DeVos took over the reins as President Donald J. Trump’s Secretary of Education. If there’s one thing she’s accomplished in that time, she’s demonstrated her perseverance in pushing for vouchers.
A Florida bill that claims to protect public-school students’ right to religious expression violates the separation of church and state by opening the door to certain coercive religious activities that are prohibited, Americans United says.
The Florida Senate passed SB 436 by a party-line vote of 23-13 on March 23, and an amended version of the bill, HB 303, passed in the state House on April 7. The amended bill now heads back to the Senate, where legislators will decide which version of the bill, if any, passes.