Yesterday morning, the Supreme Court dealt a major blow to opponents of marriage equality. It refused to hear every one of the appeals filed by five states whose same-sex marriage bans have been struck down in lower courts; that means the bans remain off the books, and marriage equality is in effect in these states.
The Supreme Court begins its 2014-15 term today. The 2013-14 session was a disaster for separation of church and state, and there’s a general sense among defenders of that principle that it would be best if the high court simply avoided such cases.
The Town Board of Greece, N.Y., has issued its formal policy on pre-meeting prayers, leading to a combination of confusion and backlash.
Almost four months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that while communities are free to open their meetings with predominantly Christian prayers, they may not exclude other points of view.
American writer Theodore Dreiser’s 1925 novel An American Tragedy deals with the story of a socially ambitious young man who, dismayed because he has impregnated his working-class girlfriend, engineers her death.
The book was banned in some cities – but not because of its depiction of murder. Rather, conservative religious leaders feared that a plot hinging on an unwanted pregnancy would spur young people to get curious about birth control.
Editor’s Note: Today 's blog post is by James C. Nelson, a retired justice of the Montana Supreme Court. Nelson was appointed to the court by Gov. Marc Racicot in 1993 and was reelected to the position three times, serving until his retirement in 2013.
Today’s Washington Post has an interesting story about how the personal religious beliefs of members of the Supreme Court might affect their decisions.
The question is especially relevant now with the high court poised to hear oral arguments tomorrow in a pair of cases that could have far-reaching consequences for what religious freedom means.
I spent a frantic morning at the U.S. Supreme Court, where Americans United’s challenge to government-sponsored sectarian prayer, Town of Greece v. Galloway, was argued.
I wasn’t inside the court for the argument, but AU Executive Director Barry W. Lynn, Legal Director Ayesha N. Khan and several other AU staff members were. They reported a spirited session, with both sides being peppered with questions from the justices.
You could say that the American Family Association (AFA) isn’t pleased about today’s Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality.
By a 5-4 vote, the high court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), meaning that same-sex couples who are lawfully wed in states with marriage equality will have access to a range of federal benefits. This is a pretty big deal.
Fifty years ago today, the U.S. Supreme handed down one of its most important church-state rulings. In School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, the high court ruled 8-1 that state-mandated programs of Bible reading and prayer in public schools are unconstitutional.
Five decades later, the ruling in Schempp (and its companion case, Murray v. Curlett) remains widely misunderstood. Part of this is due to a deliberate campaign of misinformation by Religious Right groups, which have distorted the scope of the decision.
After voters in Washington state approved marriage equality in November, Larry Duncan and Randell Shepherd of North Bend were among the first batch of couples to apply for a license.
A photo of the two bearded and burly men wearing plaid flannel shirts and camouflage baseball caps as they applied for a wedding license went viral on the internet. The image was both ordinary and extraordinary, and people were charmed that the stereotypical portrait of married couples in America had been expanded to include couples like Duncan and Shepherd.