In October of 2011, protestors associated with Occupy Austin installed themselves in the plaza outside of Austin’s City Hall. In an effort to scuttle the protest, law enforcement officers began issuing criminal trespass notices—citations that bar the recipient from a public space for a period of time—for reasons such as skateboarding and “improper” language. The protestors later successfully sued the city for violating their First Amendment right to free speech. Read more
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As part of the Affordable Care Act's implementing regulations, group health plans are required to include coverage for various forms of preventative care, including all FDA-approved methods of contraception. Houses of worship are exempt from these requirements, and the Department of Health and Human Services later created a broader accommodation for certain nonprofit organizations.
Texas amended its state constitution in 2005 to limit the definition of marriage to “one man and one woman,” forbidding the recognition of any other “legal status identical or similar to marriage.” Governor Rick Perry approved the amendment for inclusion on the ballot at a ceremony hosted by Calvary Christian Academy, to which he had invited “pro-family Christian friends.” Support for the amendment came primarily from religious organizations, and campaign materials justified it by reference to “God’s Design.”
In 2013, two same-sex couples filed a federal lawsuit chal
Challenge to public-school district's grooming policy requiring boys to wear their hair short by parents of a Native American kindergartner who wears his hair long and in braids in accordance with his family's religious beliefs.
Challenge to monument of open King James Bible that was donated by the Star of Hope Mission and placed outside the entrance of the Harris County courthouse in Texas.
Challenge to decision by Louisiana to remove the word "silent" from a school-prayer statute.
Challenge to practice of local Louisiana school board to open meetings with an invocation, which often was sectarian prayer.
Challenge to local Louisiana school board's policy requiring teachers to recite a disclaimer before lessons on evolution.
Challenge to Texas public school district's "clergy-in-schools" program, whereby clergy served as counselors and mentors to students.