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Written by Don Byrd, these updates bring together the latest news impacting the conversation around religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

6th Circuit sides with Kentucky church in first COVID-19 religious liberty case to reach federal appeals court

6th Circuit sides with Kentucky church in first COVID-19 religious liberty case to reach federal appeals court

The decisions mark the first entrance by a federal appeals court into the growing debate surrounding whether and to what extent a governor’s emergency restrictions on public gatherings apply to worship services.
U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in ‘ministerial exception’ cases

U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in ‘ministerial exception’ cases

These new cases raise the question of how courts should go about answering the question of whether an employee is covered by the ministerial exception and, as a result, cannot litigate an employment discrimination claim.
U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments (again) over religious objections to contraceptive mandate

U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments (again) over religious objections to contraceptive mandate

In this new case, more than one justice – including Chief Justice John Roberts – sounded frustrated that their previous ruling in Zubik (encouraging the parties to find a compromise on the contraceptive mandate) had not worked.
BJC, others press Congress to prohibit discrimination in future COVID-19 response legislation

BJC, others press Congress to prohibit discrimination in future COVID-19 response legislation

In a letter to congressional leaders, 183 organizations – including BJC – urged that any future legislation providing resources to those impacted by COVID-19 should include explicit language barring discrimination, including religious discrimination.
Updates on religious liberty lawsuits over stay-at-home orders

Updates on religious liberty lawsuits over stay-at-home orders

It's clear that courts are dealing with a variety of constitutional concerns, as well as public health orders that take radically different approaches. In some cases, local governments have reached agreements or clarified positions in a way that address earlier concerns.
Update on religious liberty cases before the U.S. Supreme Court

Update on religious liberty cases before the U.S. Supreme Court

I can’t remember a time when there were more cases before the Supreme Court that could impact religious liberty and church-state law. Here is an updated calendar and run-down of the cases on my radar.
Justice Department sides with Mississippi church in coronavirus dispute, other suits move forward

Justice Department sides with Mississippi church in coronavirus dispute, other suits move forward

Cases across the country are addressing the tension between public health emergency orders due to the coronavirus and religious liberty rights, including drive-in churches.
Religious communities are doing more than just staying home

Religious communities are doing more than just staying home

For Holy Week, I am focused on the countless houses of worship across the United States that are exercising their faith with incredible acts of compassion, determination and essential services for their community.
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