The U.S. Supreme Court announced April 3 that it will postpone oral arguments for the month of April due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

The delay means that the high court won’t hold in-person arguments in a pending church-state case, Trump v. Pennsylvania, a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s rules that would allow employers and universities to use their religious beliefs to deny workers and students access to birth-control coverage. (See “Access Denied,” April 2020 Church & State.)

The court normally goes out of session by the end of June. It was unclear whether the court would extend its session into summer or carry the remaining 20 cases over to its next term, which begins in October.

On April 13, the court announced that it will hear oral arguments by telephone in some of the cases, including Trump v. Pennsylvania and two other church-state cases (which are being heard jointly) that deal with the employment rights of teachers in private religious schools. The arguments will take place this month. 


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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