Public money should fund public schools, but President Donald J. Trump’s federal budget would send $250 million in public money to vouchers for private, often religious, schools. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos once again went to the Hill to defend the budget, this time, before a Senate committee.
For months, there were reports that President Donald J. Trump was preparing an executive order that would negatively redefine religious freedom. On May 4, he signed that order – sort of.
Surrounded by faith leaders on the White House lawn and using the National Day of Prayer as a backdrop, Trump released his misleadingly named executive order, “Promoting Free Speech And Religious Liberty.”
President Donald Trump’s latest executive order is a direct attack on religious freedom, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
“Exploiting the National Day of Prayer to trample religious freedom highlights Trump’s zeal to substitute showmanship for sincerity,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn. “Today, the president pandered to his far-right fundamentalist base, upending protections for houses of worship and allowing religion to be used as an excuse to deny women coverage for contraception and other preventive health care.”
Americans United joined a coalition of 4,500 national, state and local groups that on April 5 sent a letter to congressional leaders advising them to leave intact a federal law that bars tax-exempt, non-profit groups, including houses of worship, from intervening in partisan politics.
Three recent polls continued to demonstrate a majority of Americans do not support President Donald J. Trump’s call to “get rid of and totally destroy” the federal law that bars non-profit groups, including houses of worship, from intervening in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.
This provision of the tax code, known as the “Johnson Amendment” for then-U.S. Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, who sponsored it in 1954, is designed to prevent tax-exempt groups from acting like political action committees.
Americans United on March 29 requested from eight federal agencies any documents created since President Donald J. Trump was elected relating to plans or considerations to permit people and institutions to cite religious beliefs as justification for discrimination.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was sent to the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Labor, Education, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development; the Office of Management and Budget; and the Office of Personnel Management.
Neil Gorsuch is now the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was confirmed only after the Senate changed its rules to abolish the filibuster that was to occur to block Gorsuch’s nomination.
Gorsuch received 54 votes, all that was necessary once the Republican majority employed the “nuclear option” and abolished the filibuster, which would have required 60 votes to end debate on Gorsuch. Three Democratic senators joined all 51 Republicans in attendance to make the confirmation a reality.
By Bruce Gourley
Hate crimes in America against Muslims have risen to levels not seen since 9/11. President Donald J. Trump inflamed and rode Islamophobia to the White House, drawing the overwhelming support of a key anti-Islam voting constituency – right-wing evangelical Christians. Upon taking office, Trump signed an executive order travel ban targeting immigrants from seven Muslim nations, and all refugees. Many of his evangelical Christian supporters cheered, but their joy was short lived as courts quickly blocked the president’s unconstitutional action.
When a pair of Muslim Yemeni parents were granted asylum in the United States, they faced obstacles while attempting to get visas for two of their six children who are stranded overseas and facing the danger of possibly returning to war-torn Yemen.
It’s been more than 800 days since that family has seen their children, and they constantly worry about their safety.
Separated families, children in danger and the continuing threat of war and terrorism continue plaguing many fleeing families worldwide, especially within war-torn Muslim-majority countries like Yemen and Syria.
It took extraordinary measures by Senate Republicans, but Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, was confirmed April 7 on a 54-45 vote.
Gorsuch secured the seat only after the GOP leadership in the Senate invoked the so-called “nuclear option.” Democrats in the Senate had planned to prevent a vote on Gorsuch by filibustering. Under Senate rules, it takes 60 votes to end a filibuster, but Republicans voted April 6 to change the rules, allowing a simple majority to end the filibuster. A day later, they confirmed Gorsuch.