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Ind. Catholic Diocese Resists Court Jurisdiction

The Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese in Indiana has refused to appear in court to answer a lawsuit from a former employee, arguing that it is beyond the reach of the legal system in this case.

“[If] the diocese is required to go through a trial,” the diocese’s religious freedom would be “irrevocably” harmed, church attorneys argued. Read more

Mich. ‘Reason Station’ Battle Heads To Court

Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have filed suit against the city of Warren, Mich., over its rejection of a proposed “reason station” in its city hall. The station was proposed by Douglas Marshall, a Warren resident who identifies as an atheist, after Warren approved a Christian “prayer station” in the same building. Read more

Court Tosses Out Lawsuit Over Funds For Bishops

A federal appeals court has tossed out a lawsuit over religious restrictions placed on a federally funded program for victims of human trafficking.

In January, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said ACLU of Massachusetts v. Sebelius is moot because the federal government discontinued the Roman Catholic bishops’ control of the program in 2011. Read more

Forsyth Saga: N.C. Challenge To Government Prayer Reaches Appeals Court

A courtroom in Richmond, Va., will be the site of a church-state showdown on Thursday. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in an important case dealing with official prayer before government bodies. Americans United will be there. Read more

Jail Tale: South Carolina County Puts Religious Freedom Behind Bars

My first job in Washington, D.C., was with a non-profit that served the correctional community. In 1986, a bunch of us on the staff spent the night in a new state-of-the-art jail that had just been constructed in Prince George’s County, Md. We wore jail uniforms and ate dry sandwiches for dinner. The lights snapped off at 10 p.m. sharp and came back on at 6 the next morning.

That was my only brush with the correctional system – and it was enough. Read more