Litigation: Baptist Joint Committee in the courts

The Baptist Joint Committee Office of the General Counsel advocates for religious liberty through its involvement in church-state litigation in numerous ways.

The BJC monitors state and federal court cases, identifying trends and providing analysis of the most significant cases to promote understanding of the role of the courts in protecting religious freedom. We participate directly in cases through coordinated amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts.

The BJC is often asked to lead or join such efforts to provide additional legal support consistent with our mission. We typically file briefs in any U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with religious liberty and decide involvement in other lawsuits on a case-by-case basis.

Scroll down for our most recent involvement in legal cases, selected examples of previous work and an amicus brief archive.

Recent U.S. Supreme Court involvement:

The American Legion v. American Humanist Association (heard Feb. 27, 2019 — see photos here; decision expected by the end of June)

Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (case heard Dec. 5, 2017; decision on June 4, 2018)

Trump v. Hawaii (case heard April 25, 2018; decision released June 26, 2018)

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer (decision released June 26, 2017)

Zubik v. Burwell (per curiam decision released May 16, 2016)

Holt v. Hobbs (unanimous decision released Jan. 20, 2015)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (Court’s 8-1 decision released June 1, 2015)

Greece v. Galloway (2014 decision)


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Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, et al. (2012)

Cases involving religious displays of the Ten Commandments (2003, 2005)

Lee v. Weisman (1992)


Amicus Briefs

Over our history, the BJC has filed more than 120 amicus briefs, beginning with our involvement in the 1947 case of Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing, N.J. Here are some recent briefs filed by the BJC; click on the name of a brief to view it as a PDF file.

For more on our legal work over the years, read pages 15-18 of our 75th Anniversary edition of Report from the Capital.75th anniversary Report from the Capital Sept. 2011