BECKET BLOG

For the Religious Liberty Legal Community


Image: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 67 Catholic Theologians, Lutherans, Southern Baptists, and the National Association of Evangelicals File Briefs Supporting the Little Sisters of the Poor

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 67 Catholic Theologians, Lutherans, Southern Baptists, and the National Association of Evangelicals File Briefs Supporting the Little Sisters of the Poor

March 3, 2014

By Adèle Keim, Legal Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

On New Years’ Eve, Justice Sonia Sotomayor intervened to protect the Little Sisters of the Poor from crushing penalties that were scheduled to begin at midnight—an order that was confirmed and expanded by the entire Supreme Court on January 24. As a result, the Little Sisters are protected from complying with the Mandate (including the government’s so-called “accommodation”) while their appeal is being considered by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. Yesterday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 67 Catholic theologians, and a wide-ranging group of Protestant organizations—including the National Association of Evangelicals, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod—filed briefs to tell the Tenth Circuit why the Little Sisters deserve more lasting relief.

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Image: A good read on religious law in American courts

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A good read on religious law in American courts

February 20, 2014

By Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

This week Prof. Eugene Volokh of UCLA Law School is serializing his recently published article in the Oklahoma Law Review regarding the use and application of religious law – especially Islamic law – in American courts.  Prof. Volokh points out as the Becket Fund did a few years ago that American courts have long enforced religious contracts or the judgments of religious tribunals, as long as they are treated on the same basis as other “foreign” contracts or tribunals. Prof. Volokh does a great job of explaining why “creeping sharia” is a wrong-headed way to view this longstanding American practice – the series is well worth a read for anyone interested in this issue.


Image: Is Monotheism the Official State Religion of the United States?

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Is Monotheism the Official State Religion of the United States?

January 27, 2014

By Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

That’s what atheist activist and repeat litigant Dr. Michael Newdow thinks. He’s brought another lawsuit seeking to remove the word “God” from public life, this time from the national motto, “In God We Trust.” 

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Image: 10th Circuit Victory for Native American Prisoners

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10th Circuit Victory for Native American Prisoners

By Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Do prisoners lose their religious freedom when they go to prison? No—says the Tenth Circuit, in a lucid and important ruling issued a few days ago.

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Image: New DOD regulations a belated step in the right direction

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New DOD regulations a belated step in the right direction

January 23, 2014

Our brave fighting men and women deserve robust protection of the liberties they fight to preserve for us.

For Immediate Release: January 23, 2013
Media Contact: Emily Hardman, ehardman@becketfund.org, 202.349.7224

“The members of our nation’s military give their lives to protect our liberties. But in recent years, our national commitment to protecting the religious liberty of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines has appeared to waver. As a remedy, Congress passed not one, but two laws instructing the Department of Defense to issue strong legal protections for religious liberty. Yesterday, the Administration took a tardy but welcome step in the right direction.

Under its new regulations, the military is now more respectful of diverse religious viewpoints. It is also signaling a new willingness to accommodate the attire requirements of religious minority groups who, under the previous regulations, were all but barred from access to military service. Further, the military expressly imported the gold standard for religious liberty protection—the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act—and made it a part of every commander’s toolkit for safeguarding the free exercise of religion.

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Image: Let the Little Sisters be Sisters

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Let the Little Sisters be Sisters

January 22, 2014

By Daniel Blomberg, Legal Counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Since their founding in 1839, the Little Sisters of the Poor have existed for just one reason:  treating the poor, elderly outcasts of society as if they were Jesus Christ. The Little Sisters’ foundress gave up her bed to the elderly poor, begged to get food and shelter for the elderly poor, and started a movement that holds the hands of the elderly poor as they leave this life and are welcomed into the arms of God. As the director of nursing at the Little Sisters’ Washington D.C. home explained, no one dies alone at a Little Sisters home. This commitment to caring for those at life’s end is based on the Little Sisters’ fundamental religious commitment to the God-given dignity of every human life, and particularly those human lives that society doesn’t care to protect.

But after almost 175 years of ministry to the elderly, the federal government demanded that the Little Sisters make a choice: either reject the core of their religious identity by providing drugs and devices that can take innocent human lives, or take millions of dollars away from the elderly poor and pay it to the IRS as the cost of staying true to who they are.

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Image: More Victory for Nonprofits

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More Victory for Nonprofits

January 21, 2014

By Diana Verm, Legal Counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

The early results are in for nonprofit challenges to the HHS Mandate, and the winner so far is religious liberty.

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