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The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Full Court Press: It's Time To Stop The Right Wing's Efforts To Block Judge Nominees

As president, one of Barack Obama's most important tasks is making appointments to the federal courts.

The Senate has a role to play too. They are to "advise and consent." If a judicial appointee is deemed unqualified, a majority of the Senate can vote him or her down.

Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Senate performed its role. Sotomayor, who had a long record of judicial service, now sits on the nation's top bench.

Mimicking Moore?: Ohio Judge Picks Up Fight For Decalogue Display

Does Ohio Judge James DeWeese really want his future judicial career to be as bleak as former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore?

DeWeese was told by a federal judge last week that his self-designed Ten Commandments poster cannot be displayed in his courtroom. This is the second time a court has ordered the Richland County judge to remove a Decalogue display.

Hearing about DeWeese got us thinking here today about another non-compliant judge and Religious Right favorite, Roy Moore.

Hallelujah, Holladay!: Utah Town Drops Sponsorship Of 'Messiah' Sing-a-long

Years back, I was one of those high school students who took chorus for the easy "A" -- despite my complete inability to carry a tune.

I'd sit on the back riser chatting with my friends as our choral director passed around the sheet music for classical arias, modern a cappella renditions of old Queen ballads, songs from Annie Get Your Gun and the "Hallelujah Chorus."

Genesis Of Controversy: Report On Gideons' Bible Distribution Is A Revelation

When I was in college, we could always tell when the relentless western Pennsylvania winter was finally losing its grip by two key events: A roving evangelist would appear on campus and scream at women he thought were immodestly attired, and the Gideons would stand outside the cafeteria and pass out copies of the New Testament.

I didn't mind taking one. After all, I was an adult and it was my choice. But in looking it over, I noticed one thing: The first few pages emphasized the passage John 3:16. Many fundamentalists see this verse as the key to becoming "born again."

The High Court And The Church-State Wall: Betsy Ross, Meet Sandra Day O'Connor

Prayers and patriotic songs reverberated through the air as I made my way to the Supreme Court yesterday morning. I exchanged a reticent glance with the police officer stationed outside the Library of Congress (just a block away), and he chuckled, as if to read my mind.

"Things are getting crazy over there," he warned, as I dug my notepad from my bag.

"Big case," I responded.

A Cross – The Great Divide: Justices Seem Split On Calif. Religious Symbol Case

I spent the morning at the Supreme Court attending oral arguments in Salazar v. Buono – a case focusing on a cross on display in the Mojave National Preserve in California.

I'm not going to pretend I understand all of the ins and outs of this complex case because I'm not a lawyer. I rely on AU's legal team to do that. But I did garner a few impressions from the argument.

Land O' Lies: SBC Lobbyist Compares Health-Care Reform Advocates To Nazis

I understand that people have different views on the issue of health-care reform.

My family and I rely on my health-care plan, and I want to make sure it's there for us. At the same time, I can't accept the fact that so many millions of my fellow citizens are without coverage. I don't see those two concerns as irreconcilable.

Critical Mass: Justices Gather In D.C. For Special Religious Service

The U.S. Supreme Court is back in session today, which means Justice Sonia Sotomayor has taken her seat on the bench for the first time.

Yesterday morning was another first for the junior justice. She attended the Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle as a VIP guest.

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