Those living in areas ravaged by Hurricane Harvey are just beginning to rebuild their lives and clean up, and those in the path of Hurricane Irma are just trying to comprehend its devastation. We at Americans United continue to be concerned about everyone recovering from or in the midst of these historic storms and have reached out to many of our members and supporters in these areas to let them know we are thinking of them.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice told the Supreme Court that a Colorado bakery has a constitutional right to refuse to sell a cake to a same-sex couple for their wedding. You read that right – the Trump administration thinks there’s a constitutional right to discriminate.
After the massive Boston protests against white supremacy, ACT for America – the largest anti-Muslim hate group in the U.S. – decided to back out of its plan to hold multiple rallies in cities all over the nation. The group feared that its events would be overshadowed by successful counter-protests.
The full 15-member 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that a Michigan county’s policy of having its county commissioners open their meetings by delivering exclusively Christian prayers was constitutional, reversing the earlier decision of a three-judge panel.
President Donald J. Trump captured 81 percent of the evangelical vote on election day. Since then, many political pundits have grappled with the question of how a lecherous and biblically illiterate candidate whose relationship with the truth is casual at best could have done so well with this constituency of alleged “values voters.”
The House of Representatives, just back from its August recess, is poised to pass a major spending bill. Tucked within that bill is Section 116, a provision that would make it nearly impossible for the Internal Revenue Service to investigate tax-exempt houses of worship that have endorsed or opposed political candidates in violation of the Johnson Amendment. The fate of that provision could be decided today.
We’ve watched from afar the devastation and tragedy brought by Hurricane Harvey to the Gulf Coast of Texas. Our hearts are with those who are just beginning the recovery process. As difficult as the past week has been, there is some comfort in watching, as we often do, Americans coming together to aid those in the area through donations and volunteering.
We at Americans United were sad to say goodbye to Legal Fellows Bradley Girard and Carmen Green at the beginning of August when their two-year fellowship with AU came to an end. Both brought a wealth of legal knowledge and enthusiasm for church-state separation to our Legal Department.