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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.

Tennessee lawmakers take aim at COVID-19 vaccination with bill to allow religious and conscience exemption

Tennessee lawmakers take aim at COVID-19 vaccination with bill to allow religious and conscience exemption

A bill introduced in the Tennessee legislature would remove provisions that limit the application of religious exemptions from vaccination requirements in the case of an epidemic or where immunization is necessary to protect the health of others.
New York Police Department agrees to policy change allowing religious head coverings in mug shots

New York Police Department agrees to policy change allowing religious head coverings in mug shots

Settling a 2018 lawsuit brought by two Muslim women, the NYPD has agreed to no longer require the removal of a person’s religious head covering for mug shots, provided their face is still visible.
Appeals court upholds Maine law barring private school tuition subsidies for “sectarian” education

Appeals court upholds Maine law barring private school tuition subsidies for “sectarian” education

The ruling in Carson v. Makin concluded that Maine's tuition program passes constitutional muster, as it utilizes nonsectarian private schools in areas without their own public school.
U.S. Supreme Court hears oral argument over whether prospective foster parents can be excluded because of religion, sexual orientation

U.S. Supreme Court hears oral argument over whether prospective foster parents can be excluded because of religion, sexual orientation

This week. the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Fulton v. Philadelphia, a case involving Catholic Social Services’ (CSS) constitutional challenge to the city’s requirement that organizations screening foster parents must comply with the city’s nondiscrimination law in selecting the pool of parents eligible.
Supreme Court confirmation raises questions about the direction of religious liberty in the U.S.

Supreme Court confirmation raises questions about the direction of religious liberty in the U.S.

Amy Coney Barrett became the newest justice of the United States Supreme Court this week, and next week she'll be considering a religious liberty case: Fulton v. Philadelphia.
Some COVID-related worship restrictions upheld, others halted as disputes continue to move through court system

Some COVID-related worship restrictions upheld, others halted as disputes continue to move through court system

Courts across the country continue to hear cases at the intersection of public health restrictions and religious gatherings. Here are updates from Colorado, New York, California, and Washington, D.C.
Religious Liberty discussions on day 3 of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing

Religious Liberty discussions on day 3 of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing

The third day of the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett yielded few religious liberty discussions, and none that made any significant advances over the first day of questioning. Watch two exchanges here.
In Day 2 of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing, some religious liberty discussions, though little depth or insight

In Day 2 of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing, some religious liberty discussions, though little depth or insight

The first round of questioning from many of the senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee included religious liberty topics.
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