Pacific Justice Institute Appeals Court Decision Allowing Calif. City to Restrict Downtown Churches

Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is appealing the decision of a federal court in the San Francisco Bay Area that determined churches do not contribute to a vibrant and fun atmosphere and therefore may be excluded from Salinas’ downtown area.

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SCOTUS Rules 7-2 in Favor of Exemption for Employers Opposed to Contraceptives Mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of exemptions that were provided to employers with religious or moral objections to the contraceptives mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

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SCOTUS Rules 7-2 Against Gov't Interference in Faith-Based Groups' Employment Decisions

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that two faith-based schools could not be sued by their former employees over their termination of employment because the First Amendment protects the right of religious institutions “to decide for themselves, free from state interference, matters of church government as well as those of faith and doctrine,” and “courts are bound to stay out of employment disputes involving those holding certain important positions with churches and other religious institutions.”

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SCOTUS Rules 5-4 Against Montana Scholarship Program's Prohibitions on Religious Schools, Individuals

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that an administrative rule to a Montana state tax-credit scholarship program violated the Free Exercise Clause because it prohibited families from using scholarships at religious schools.

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Supreme Court Rules 5-4 Against Louisiana Law to Protect Women Seeking Abortions

The Supreme Court narrowly struck down Louisiana’s law requiring abortionists to hold admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, issuing a 5-4 decision Monday in the case of June Medical Services L. L. C. v. Russo.

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Bipartisan Group Introduces Bill Expanding Federal Tax Deduction for Charitable Giving

Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) have introduced the bipartisan Universal Giving Pandemic Response Act to expand the current above-the-line deduction for charitable giving made available by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March.

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U.S. State Department Releases 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom

The U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Religious Freedom released its 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom earlier this month – just a week after the President signed the first-ever executive order instructing the entire U.S. Government to prioritize religious freedom.

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SCOTUS Adds Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity to Civil Rights Act with 6-3 Ruling

The Court decided in a 6-3 ruling Monday that an employer who fires an individual for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 though neither “sexual orientation” nor “gender identity” appear on the list of protected classes.

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NRB Music License Committee Restates Case Against Performance Fees

Scott Hunter, the Executive Director of NRB’s Music License Committee (NRBMLC), testified last week before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property to insist that no changes be made to the longstanding exemption from sound recording royalties granted to radio broadcasters for over-the-air radio transmissions.

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Religious Leaders Calling for Congress to Protect Houses of Worship as They Reopen

Most states have begun to ease restrictions on businesses and social activity after weeks of lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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U.S. Senators Urge Leadership to Consider Nonprofits, Churches in Next Relief Proposal

Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Angus King (I-Maine) sent a bipartisan letter last week to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to advocate on behalf of nonprofits, charities, and houses of worship so that they are not overlooked in the fourth-phase relief proposal for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Supreme Court Hears Employment Discrimination Cases Against Religious Organizations

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments over the phone Monday in the consolidated cases of two faith-based schools sued by former employees whose contracts were not renewed.

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FRC Documents Gov’t Restrictions of Religious Freedom During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Government social distancing mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have also restricted the free exercise of religion, and NRB member Family Research Council (FRC) has documented the extent to which they have.

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Storm Fronts and Freedoms

In the weeks following the Attorney General’s remarks we see both Christians and the Christian worldview continuing to be targeted, sometimes blatantly, other times subtly. All this ought to awaken us.

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NRB: Defending, Protecting, Advocating

You may have noticed that for some time our United States Congress – and particularly the House of Representatives – has been locked in a rugby-like scrum of partisan struggles. So, it is very refreshing to see that on one issue at least there is a growing bipartisan effort in the House, supported by NRB and our ally NAB: the effort to save local radio from a devastating new “performance” tax that would be imposed on stations that play music, driving many of them out of business.

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Bigotry and the Letter of the Law

This September was an anniversary of sorts. It marked 24 years since a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York. The judicial opinion illustrated what is best about the letter of the law; specifically, the First Amendment’s protections of the Free Exercise of Religion.

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