March 2016 Church & State - March 2015

Death Of Justice Scalia Sparks Partisan Battle In D.C.

  AU admin

As this issue of Church & State was going to press, news broke about the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The associate justice died in his sleep while visiting a hunting lodge in Texas Feb. 13. He was 79.

President Barack Obama announced that he plans to name a replacement for Scalia, but Republicans, who hold a majority in the U.S. Senate, have said they will not allow a vote on an Obama candidate. They believe the next president should fill the vacancy.

Scalia, who was appointed to the court by President Ronald W. Reagan in 1986, was a strong opponent of church-state separation; he was known for his acerbic opinions and combative style. His death means that the high court may deadlock 4-4 over several contentious issues. When that happens, the ruling of the lower court stands, but the decision sets no precedential value.

Americans United issued a statement urging the Senate to move forward with an appointment. AU said it would be unprecedented for the court to be understaffed for nearly a year.

Americans United is also in touch with groups that advocate for filling the slot now.

Look for more details in the April issue of Church & State.

BREAKING NEWS

Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.


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