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Liz Hayes
Associate Vice President of Communications
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Americans United & Allies Secure Court Victory For Colorado Parolee Jailed For Refusing To Attend Worship Services

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union, and DLA Piper LLP (U.S.) are celebrating today’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which makes clear that the First Amendment prohibits government officials and those who assume governmental duties from punishing people on parole, on probation, and in prison for refusing to take part in religious worship and activities.

Sen. Kennedy Violated Religious Freedom By Invoking Religious Test During DOJ Nominee’s Confirmation Hearing

“In a democracy that values the fundamental American principle of church-state separation, U.S. senators don’t get to ask a nominee for public office whether they believe in god during a Senate hearing," said AU President and CEO Rachel Laser. "That’s a flat-out violation of our Constitution’s promise that there is no religious test for public office. It’s also grossly hypocritical to witness Sen. Kennedy, who claims to be a champion of religious freedom, so blatantly deny that freedom to others.”

Americans United Urges Supreme Court To Protect Taxpayers From Being Forced To Pay For Private Religious Education

"The Supreme Court chipped away at this protection last year when it required states to include religious schools in private school voucher programs. If this court is to maintain any semblance of adhering to the Constitution and the intent of its framers, it should not cross this final line of requiring taxpayers to pay for religious instruction," said AU President and CEO Rachel Laser.

In Narrow Ruling, Supreme Court Does Not Grant Sweeping Free Pass To Discriminate In The Name Of Religion

“Today, the Supreme Court decided that Philadelphia had to allow Catholic Social Services to exclude LGBTQ families from its publicly funded foster care program. But the narrow decision, which turned on the specific facts of the case, means that religious extremists did not get the sweeping free pass they were seeking to discriminate wherever and however they want," said AU President and CEO Rachel Laser.

Americans United Urges Court To Dismiss School’s Appeal In Case Of Gregg Tucker, Colorado Teacher Fired For Opposing Racism

“Gregg Tucker’s case illustrates a frightening trend: Religious employers are urging courts to adopt an ever-broader interpretation of the ministerial exception. They want it applied not just to clergy and some private-school educators with significant religious duties, but to all employees at religious organizations,” said AU Litigation Counsel Bradley Girard.

AU’s Rachel Laser: Verdict In George Floyd’s Murder A Small Step Toward Systemic Change, Accountability And Healing

“Today a jury held Derek Chauvin accountable for the murder of George Floyd. We know this conviction is not even close to the end of the continued fight for justice. The larger injustice is the systemic racism that continues to infect every facet of our society. As an organization dedicated to freedom, democracy and equality, we join in solidarity with those fighting for racial justice. And we send our profound sympathies to the family and friends of George Floyd and many others who have unjustly died at the hands of the police. This verdict marks a small step in a long road to systemic change, accountability and healing.”

Supreme Court Majority Continues To Redefine Religious Freedom As Religious Privilege

“The ultra-conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court continues to redefine the constitutional promise of religious freedom for all as religious privilege for a select few. By once again undermining science-based public health orders meant to limit the spread of a deadly virus, the court is prioritizing the religious practices of a few over the health and safety of entire communities," said AU CEO Rachel Laser.


The Supreme Court just gutted decades of precedent by stripping away public school students’ religious freedom rights.

This is the greatest loss of religious freedom in generations. Help us fight back!